High Court of Himachal forms committee to investigate allegations of Illegal tree felling in Mandi district
Shimla, June 28
In response to a petition filed as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the High Court of Himachal Pradesh has formed a committee to investigate allegations of illegal felling of forest trees in Forest Division Nachan, District Mandi. The committee comprises the Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, the Superintendent of Police, Mandi, and the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Mandi.
The petition, brought to the court’s attention through a letter from Raju, a resident of VPO Chail Chowk in Mandi District, alleges that a significant number of green trees have been cut down in various forest areas within Forest Division Nachan over the past five years. The petitioner further claims that unauthorized roads have been constructed by clearing trees from dense forests without obtaining clearance under the Forest Conservation Act. The destruction is said to have occurred despite the presence of a sanctuary region encompassing approximately 10 kilometers radius of the Shikari Devi-Dehar Road.
Also read:HC issues notices to Central and State govt in a matter of illegal tree felling at Nahan H.P
Additionally, the petitioner alleges that, at the behest of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) in Nachan, a ground has been constructed at Chail Chowk, located just 100 meters from the Rest House, resulting in the destruction of around 500 green trees.
To ascertain the veracity of the claims made by the respondents disputing the allegations, the Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel have instructed the committee to thoroughly investigate the matter. The committee has been given three months to submit its report, and the case will be listed for further proceedings on 10th October 2023.
The petitioner has fervently requested action against the DFO to halt the environmental devastation and protect the forest, the ecosystem, and government funds.
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