The Supreme Court of India has directed Himachal Pradesh Government to ban the green felling in the forest areas of state for any developmental activity till next date of hearing while passing an order. A bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta passed the interim order recently. The order states that just in case of diversion wherever approvals are given by the Divisional Forest Officer however felling of trees has not been done, no felling of trees shall ensue until next date of hearing on April 15, 2019 . ‘There shall be no diversion of the forest lands allotted to a Protection Working Circle in any Working Plan under FRA and FCA till next date, DFOs are restrained to exercise the power under Section 3(2) of FRA, 2006. ‘stated the order.
Court said that authority ought to make sure that destruction of the precious forests of Himachal Pradesh doesn’t ensue in any manner. Court directed that there would be no diversion of forest for any non-forestry purpose processed underneath FCA rules.
The bench expressed grave issues over a report submitted in reference to ‘silviculture felling’ of trees in Himachal Pradesh, and expressed displeasure that forests within the state are being destroyed by the mass scale felling. “Authorities to ensure that destruction of the valuable and precious forests of Himachal Pradesh does not take place in any manner whatsoever,” said the bench.
In February last year, the court had allowed ‘silviculture felling’ of trees to a limited extent and under strict monitoring of a two-member committee, headed by VP Mohan, a retired IFS officer and former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in Himachal Pradesh. SC had allowed the silviculture green felling on the pilot basis in three ranges of state including Poanta range of Sirmaur to fell the Sal tree, Bharadi range of Bilaspur to fell Pinus trees and Nurpur of Kangra to fell the Khair tree( Acacia catechu) under the monitoring of two member committee asking the video graph of felling.