The staff explained how the proposal was brought through the government office to get permission.
In the eco-sensitive Raika-Bahu region, more than 337,000 trees cover about 40 hectares of land, which is under threat. The new Jammu and Kashmir High Court complex is ready for plant replacement as a result of the Forest Department’s ban.
Young environmentalists marched on a tree in the village of Raika on February 14th to protest against a plan to protect it peacefully. The movement was led by the Climate Front, a student-led environmental awareness organization.
Jammu Raika-Bahu is an environmentally-sensitive area under arm protection. It is home to species such as rock pigeons, Asian quails, barn owls, red hunting bulbs, jackfruit, wild boar and rhesus monkeys.
The reserve was established in 1981 and covers an area of 19 sq km. It is located just 3.75 km from Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary.
So the Raika-Bahu forest area in the middle of the river bank reserve supports the Gujjar community in raising goats, cows and buffaloes.
Was quickly removed
Employees described how the proposal was brought through a government office to get permission.
The relocation of the High Court building was proposed in October 2016 and the administration began forest acquisition the same year after receiving approval from several departments within fifteen days.
The project was approved a few days before the reorganization of the Union Territory (UT) from a state under the provisions of the J&K Forest (Protection) Act, 199 of. Subsequently, it was replaced by the more stringent Indian Forest Act, 1972, which required many more clearances, environmentalists noted.
Administration officials say the current high court building needs a new campus due to traffic jams and frequent traffic jams in the surrounding streets.
The land allotted for the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has 1,70,006 trees and 22 bamboo trees under the Forest Department of the Jammu Division and 3,300 trees and 109 bamboo shrubs under the Department of Soil Conservation.
Bamboo shocks in the jungles of Jammu are under threat.
Leaders are dissatisfied, locals are divided
Law graduates Abhinav Kumar Chadgal and Satyam Aurora had appealed to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the forest clearance order for the High Court complex. It was rejected in January 2021 to follow the legal process in allocating forest land.
Aurora told Down to Earth that in 2012, Jammu Development Authority (JDA) officials claimed they had 700,000 canals (about 4,000 hectares) and were confused as to why they approached the law department or did not approach the administration.
“We cannot compensate for the natural forest by planting saplings in our flower pots. Falling into the quake zone of Jammu and Kashmir and destroying more trees means disaster, ”Orra said.
Lawyers who have access to the court told Down to Earth that they do not support the High Court’s decision to move Jenipur from Jammu to the Raika forest, but they are not ready to launch any protest or movement against their parent organization.
Chakgal said the legal action to protect the Raika forest has come to an end and now the people’s demand can only protect the forest.
Climate change activist Raika Raika is raising her voice to protect the forest.
“Raika will breathe a sigh of relief last year! We are not against a new High Court complex or any other development project,” said Aditya Khajuria, president of the Climate Front.
Khajuria said that life in Jammu has flowed near the Tau Raika-Bahu region and planting trees from this forest would impede the flow of Tabir.
The relocation of the judicial complex to the forest caused a mixed reaction from the villagers of Raik. Despite fears of biodiversity and potential damage to their homes, others are expected to face new challenges because of the project.
“Our ancestors were born in Raika. Not in our possession. A building of justice will be built in the forest, but what injustice will be done to the forest and its children? Jamad, local MD.
An eco park of monkeys and peacocks, connecting the village. Some residents feared that the construction work would pollute the environment and harm the flora and fauna of the region.
Other villagers were satisfied with the decision and said they hoped to improve roads and schools by shifting to the high court.
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