Shouldn’t rangers re-Act?
JUST WALK into the Kukrail Picnic spot and you would find it fast becoming a domain of villagers, washermen and cattle.
They wash clothes in Kukrail nullah, cattle freely graze around the spot to picnickers’ chagrin, but forest officials keep their eyes shut even if this amounts to blatant violation of various sections of the Forest Act.
“Sir, it has been going on like this for ages. Yes! The Forest Act has been violated. But, what can we do?” says an official when asked about the trespassing.
The detergent used by the washermen threatens nullah’s aquatic life. “But, the nullah has nothing to do with the spot. The water just flows away from the spot,” says the official.
Divisional Forest Officer says these violations have been continuing since the picnic spot was made. In fact, the claims of the local people had not been settled properly when the land was taken over. “That’s the reason why they treat the forest land as their own and create a ruckus,” he says.
Range Officer of Kukrail Picnic Spot Praveen Khare said there had been rampant violations of the section 26 of the Forest Act. “It’s difficult to check such violations because the area of picnic spot is open and there are no checkpoints.
Due to lack of staff, proper vigilance is not possible.” The department tries to keep a check through imposing penalty which is Rs 500 and compensation of any amount depending on the offence, adds Khare.
Environmental expert Vikrant Nath says this is definitely a violation. But it is very difficult to put a check on such activities.
“Why only Kukrail nullah, such activities should also be banned on the banks of the Gomti,” he suggests.