Supreme Court allows felling of khair trees in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: In a major reprieve, the Supreme Court has permitted axing of khair trees on government forest land in 10 forest divisions of Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu said on Friday.

He said that the government had pleaded the case in the court and it has delivered the judgment in favour of the state.

“A working plan is ready for the felling of khair trees in five forest divisions – Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Nalagarh and Kutlehar – and the yield prescribed is 16,500 trees per annum. The extraction of khair will commence shortly,” an official statement quoting the Chief Minister said.

He said that the preparation of a working plan for the remaining five forest divisions – Nahan, Paonta Sahib, Dharamshala, Nurpur and Dehra – are underway. Forest officers would initiate the process of inspecting the forests and counting of khair trees would be conducted to prepare a working plan for these five forest divisions.

According to Sukhu, the felling of khair trees is better for forest management and its rejuvenation, besides revenue generation for the state exchequer. Most of the khair trees are decaying due to non-extraction of the timber in time and this is a major obstacle in the direction of better forest management.

The Chief Minister said that the Supreme Court had allowed the felling of khair trees in 2018 on an experimental basis to know the results of silviculture felling of khair trees.

“Now the apex court was convinced with the opinion of the Forest Department as the Central Empowered Committee had submitted its findings to the court and it has allowed the felling of khair trees,” he added.


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