Himachal CM favours controlled forest thinning

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Shimla, Dec 31 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday said the state will ensure scientific management of forests to increase forest cover.

He was addressing senior officers of the state forest department here. A Supreme Court-appointed expert, V.P. Mohan, gave a presentation.

Mohan said the ban on green felling in the state has hampered regeneration. Rejuvenation can be brought through silviculture felling.

A moratorium on felling of green trees was imposed in the state on March 23, 1994, which is still in operation.

The Chief Minister said it was vital for healthy biodiversity to allow revival of prescribed silvicultural operations like cleaning, thinning and salvage of dead and dry trees.

He said all these activities would be carried out through Village Forest Development Societies that would go a long way in providing self employment opportunities to the youth.

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Thakur said this initiative would help earning revenue to the state exchequer besides ensuring proper upkeep of forest wealth.

The committee recommended that all pending working plans should be revised in a time-bound manner.

It was also recommended that boundary pillars on ground be erected for all forest areas and its status should be updated in revenue records which would go a long way in checking forest encroachment.

It was informed at the meeting that the state would be earning revenue of about Rs 1.50 crore through experimental felling in 432 hectares in Nurpur, Paonta and Bilaspur forest divisions.

–IANS

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