Supreme Court allows felling of Khair trees on State land: HP CM
Shimla, May 19
In a recent development, the Supreme Court of India has granted permission for the green felling of khair trees on state forest land, relaxing the ten-year working plan under silviculture felling. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced the news during a media interaction, expressing satisfaction with the court’s decision in favor of the Forest Department in Himachal Pradesh.
The Chief Minister informed that a working plan has been prepared for the felling of khair trees in five forest divisions, namely Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Nalagarh, and Kutlehar. The prescribed yield for these divisions is set at 16,500 trees per year, and the extraction of khair will commence shortly.
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Furthermore, the preparation of a working plan for the remaining five forest divisions, namely Nahan, Poanta Sahib, Dharamshala, Nurpur, and Dehra, is currently underway. Forest officers will conduct inspections and count the khair trees in order to prepare a working plan for these divisions.
Chief Minister Sukhu emphasized that silviculture felling of khair trees is beneficial for forest management and rejuvenation, while also generating revenue for the state exchequer. He highlighted that many khair trees were decaying due to delayed timber extraction, hindering effective forest management. Taking the state’s interests into account, the government approached the Supreme Court on this matter.
The Chief Minister also mentioned that the Supreme Court had allowed the felling of khair trees on an experimental basis in 2018 to assess the results of silviculture felling. The court was convinced by the Forest Department’s opinion, supported by the findings presented by the Central Empowered Committee, leading to the recent decision to permit khair tree felling.
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