J&K : FDC Allegedly Neglects Timber Distribution, Leaving North Kashmir’s Residents in Distress

Baramulla: In a concerning turn of events, residents of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kashmir region have raised grievances against the Forest Development Corporation (FDC), accusing it of failing to effectively distribute timber resources to local beneficiaries. The issue, which has been attributed to a series of administrative missteps and alleged preferential treatment, has left many Below Poverty Line (BPL) families grappling with soaring timber prices and prolonged wait times for essential construction materials.

The roots of the problem trace back to the tenure of the previous PDP-BJP government, during which the forest minister, Chaudhary Lal Singh, purportedly manipulated timber sale regulations without proper authorization, adversely affecting BPL households. Consequently, the transition from the J&K Forest Department to the FDC saw a shift in timber distribution dynamics, resulting in increased financial burden on disadvantaged communities.

Reports indicate that vast quantities of timber, worth lakhs of rupees, have languished within FDC compartments, while local consumers face exorbitant prices and persistent shortages. Residents from areas like Sopore and Kupwara have voiced frustration over unfulfilled promises of timber allocation, despite possessing sanctioned documents for years. The situation has compelled many to resort to purchasing timber from commercial markets at inflated rates, exacerbating financial strain on already vulnerable households.

Furthermore, allegations have surfaced regarding preferential treatment, with claims that influential individuals receive preferential access to timber resources, leaving deserving families marginalized. The implementation of revised timber sale rates under unapproved cabinet orders has only exacerbated the plight of BPL households, contradicting previous assurances of concessional pricing.

In light of these developments, concerned citizens have called upon the J&K administration, particularly Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, to intervene and address the systemic deficiencies within the FDC. Urgent appeals have been made for a reconsideration of existing policies to ensure equitable access to timber resources for rural communities, thereby mitigating the adverse impact on both livelihoods and forest conservation efforts.

As residents await decisive action from the authorities, the plight of J&K’s marginalized families underscores the pressing need for comprehensive reforms to rectify systemic inadequacies and uphold principles of social equity and environmental sustainability.