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4000 Kanals of land retrieved at Hokersar from encroachers: Officials

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Srinagar: After unveiling the five-year Integrated Management Action Plan (IMAP) 2022-2027 for Wetland Conservation Reserves of Kashmir in 2021, authorities at Hokersar wetland have retrieved around 4000 kanals of land from the “encroachers” so far, officials said on Saturday.

Highlighting the retrieval of encroached land, a senior wetland official said that under the restoration wetland plans in Kashmir; they have retrieved around 4000 kanals of land since 2021 from the encroachers at Hokersar.

“At Hokersar wetland, we have retrieved around 3-4 thousand Kanals of encroached land, which had different vegetation and plantations,” the official said.

The official said that they had issued notices under a “one-time amnesty” to those, who had encroached upon the wetland area, directing them to cut down the plantation on the encroached wetland areas.

As per the officials, the encroachment area was either planted with popular trees, other plantation or the land was used for the paddy cultivation.

The official emphasized that their department plans to intensify efforts in the coming times to retrieve the remaining encroached wetland areas around the Hokersar wetland.

As the IMAP document reviewed by KNO beyond encroachment, it also highlights various challenges, including siltation, weed infestation, pollution, habitat modification, degradation of water quality and dumping of solid waste in preserving the valley wetlands.

Officials maintained that the department is working on scientific grounds to create a sustainable habitat for migratory birds and ensure the overall well-being of Hokersar and other wetlands.

Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir government in 2021 came up with an Integrated Management Action Plan for conservation of wetlands in Kashmir with a proposed budgetary outlay of Rs 46.70 crore. (KNO)

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