The J&K Forest Protection Force, first of its kind in the country, was created under Cabinet Decision No. 12/7 dated 02-12-1996 with manpower creation of 2257 posts on Police Pattern. Thereafter, creation of 170 posts of Supernumerary Posts of Watchers in the year 2013, the sanctioned strength got increased to 2427. The J&K Forest Protection Force was created with the objectives to assist Forest Department and other sister departments in enforcing the Forest Laws on the ground and better protection of Forests and forest property. The enrolled Members of the Force are trained in arms/ammunition and in Forestry; besides short term capsule training courses for the officers deputed from Forest Department.
FUNCTIONS OF THE FORCE:
The Forest Protection Force is basically an assisting agency to the Territorial Forest department and sister departments. The Forest Protection Force is available to the territorial staff of Forest Department and other sister departments 24x7 whenever requested to stop encroachment on forest land or to evict the encroacher, to stop illegal removal of forest produce and its smuggling, to protect forest from fire, to stop poaching of wild life and illegal trade in forest produce or wild life produce in any manner what so ever.
The command of the Force is vested with the Director who is of the rank of APCCF. The FPF has its headquarter at Srinagar/Jammu being a move office of the UT.
The command of the Force at regional level is vested with Joint Directors who are of the rank of Conservator of Forests (ex-cadre) and are operating in their respective areas of responsibility i.e. Kashmir and Jammu regions.
The Force HQ at the regional level is called Delta Headquarters. In each forest division, a Gamma Unit has been sanctioned which is headed by the Deputy Director with Assistant Director-I being 2nd in command of the Unit. Each Gamma Unit consists of 2 Beta Units and 4 Alpha Units. The Beta unit is headed by an officer of the rank of Assistant Director-II while as the Alpha unit is headed by an Inspector of the Force. Each Alpha unit comprises 1 Inspector, 2 Deputy Inspectors and 8 FPF Guards/Watchers.
The Forest Protection Force has 30 sanctioned Gamma Units(18 in Jammu & 12 in Kashmir), against which 23 Gamma Units (11 in Jammu & 12 in Kashmir) are operational. These 23 Gamma Units have been established in 23 Forest Divisions, but they operate in all 30 Forest Divisions. This will continue till the remaining Gamma Units are established within the jurisdiction of their respective Territorial Forest Divisions.
Each Gamma Unit has 3 sanctioned Reporting Centres.
J&K Forest Protection Force Act, 2001- constitution of Forest Protection Force for better protection and security of forest property. Some of the highlights of the act are:
Section-3(2)- The force shall be the department of the Government on the pattern of Police Department.
Section-9 (c)- Assist, on requisition, a forest officer or an officer of the Wildlife Department or an officer of Soil Conservation Department having Territorial jurisdiction when such requisition is for the protection of Forest Property.
Section-9(f)- to take up such special assignment as may be entrusted to the Force by the Government from time to time.