Himachal: SC permits felling of ‘khair’ trees on govt forest land

Shimla: In a major relief to Himachal Pradesh to raise resources of the state, the Supreme Court of India has permitted felling of the ‘khair’ trees on government forest land in 10 forest divisions of the department in Himachal Pradesh.

This was informed by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu here on Friday. He said that the state government had pleaded the case cogently in the Court and it has delivered its judgment in favour of the Forest Department. He said that a working plan was ready for the felling of khair trees in five forest divisions including Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Nalagarh and Kutlehar and the yield prescribed was 16,500 trees per annum in these forest divisions and extraction of khair will commence shortly.

The Chief Minister said that the preparation of a working plan for the remaining five forest divisions i.e. Nahan, Poanta Sahib, Dharamshala, Nurpur and Dehra was underway. He said the forest officers would initiate the process of inspecting the forests and counting the khair trees would be conducted in order to prepare a working plan for these five forest divisions.

Sukhu said that the silviculture felling of khair trees was better for forest management and rejuvenation, besides revenue generation for the state exchequer.

Most of the standing khair trees were decaying due to non-extraction of the timber in time and this was a major obstacle in the direction of better forest management. The government had taken up this matter with the Apex Court keeping in mind the interest of the State.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had allowed the felling of khair trees in the year 2018 on an experimental basis to know the results of silviculture felling of khair trees.

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