HP High court summons Chief Secy & others over illegal construction of roads by cutting trees in forest area

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Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source internet

Shimla, Aug 1

Hearing a suo moto petition with regard to illegal construction of roads by cutting trees from extremely dense forest areas, in forest Division Nachan, District Mandi, High Court of H.P. has issued notice to the Chief Secretary to the State of H.P., Principal Chief Conservator Forest, Engineer-In-Chief, H.P. PWD, Conservator of Forest, Mandi and DFO Nachan, District Mandi.

The Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, A.A. Sayed and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation, on a letter addressed to the Chief Justice, by one Raju resident of VPO Chail Chowk District Mandi.

The petitioner has alleged that at the behest of DFO Nachan, who is posted as such for more than five years, thousand of green trees have been cut down in many forest areas of Forest Division Nachan. The petitioner has further alleged that roads have been constructed illegally by cutting trees from extremely dense forest without clearance under the Forest Conservation Act.

It has been alleged that DFO has allowed the construction of many roads by intimidating subordinate officials of the department. Several complainants were addressed to the Government, but no action has been taken in the matter.

The petitioner has also alleged that in order to please the politicians in the name of bridle path, Badhaer road has been constructed with JCB, without following the provisions of Forest Conservation Act. The forest area has been destroyed despite having a sanctuary region of about 10 Kms radius of Shikari Devi- Dehar Road. It has been further alleged that on the behest of DFO, a ground has been constructed at Chail Chowk, at a distance of about 100 meters from rest house by destroying about 500 green trees.

The petitioner has prayed to initiate an inquiry and registration of FIR against DFO Nachan. He has further prayed to order an inquiry regarding construction of roads in the last 3-4 years without FCA approval in the entire region of Forest Division Nachan. He has also prayed to take immediate action against DFO to stop the devastation and to save forest, environment and government money.

The matter will be listed after three weeks.

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