Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding silviculture felling of trees in Himachal Pradesh, 15/04/2019

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of In Re: T. N. Godavarman Thirumulpad Vs Union of India & Others dated 15/04/2019 regarding silviculture felling of trees in the State of Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh has informed SC that there is no difficulty in accepting around 24 recommendations made by a Committee, which includes the following:

1. Chirpine-Approval of silviculture markings with retention of only 25 mother trees per hectare instead of 40 mother trees.

2. Subject to execution of prioritized core activities during preparatory period of 2019-20 for achieving scientific Forest Management, Ban on Green Fellings should be relaxed from 2020-21 onwards.

3. Authentication of Legal status of Forests by Mutation in Revenue Records.

4. It needs to be recognized that in a hilly state having fragile geological formations, the agenda of “Development” has to be planned green cover of Himachal Pradesh.

5. It was noticed by the monitoring committee that out of 37 forest divisions, approved working plans are available for 20 forest divisions and for remaining forest division, 16 working plans are not approved. It was decided in principle that SSO will be allowed only in 20 forest divisions having approved working plans.

But with respect to 13 recommendations, certain objections have been raised by the State of Himachal Pradesh. The SC permits ongoing projects of public importance owned and managed by the Government to be completed including schools, minor irrigation canals, tanks and other minor water bodies. Further with respect to Nurpur, Paonta and Bharari Ranges, construction/repair work of the boundary pillars of reserved forests and DPFs shall be completed by 31.08.2019.