HC directs DC Shimla to conduct aerial survey of forest canopy & install RVF tags


    Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed Deputy Commissioner Shimla Mr. Rohan Chand Thakur to conduct the aerial survey of the forest canopy and install the Radio Frequency Verification (RVF) tags on the Deodar and Oak trees within Shimla Municipal Corporation.

    A Division Bench comprising Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto on an application moved by the people of Ram Nagar. The Court directed the DC Shimla to depute Halqua Patwaries of the Revenue Department upon receipt of the request from the office of the Principal CCF(HoFF), Himachal Pradesh, Forest Department, Shimla for the purpose of enumeration of the trees on private land.

    The court further directed the respondents to file the affidavit regarding the aerial survey of the vegetative growth including the trees within the limits of Shimla Municipal Corporation and tagging of each tree within the Municipal limits with radio frequency verification tags. With regard to the cost incurred for such enumeration of trees on private land, the Court directed respondents to file an affidavit stating therein as to how the cost is being recovered from the private land owners, the Court observed.

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    The complaints alleged that thick forest surrounding Ram Nagar is facing the axe as trees are being cut down by miscreants and a trend of advanced technology tree is missing from their places within a minute and thereafter, taken away from the spot living no proof behind. The petitioners had also alleged in the petition that on the midnight of 13.07.2017, some of the trees were also cut down. But when the complaint in this regard was made, thereafter, on the interference of the Forest Officer, many of the trees were saved from cutting.

    The petitioners had requested to issue the direction to the Forest Department to take strict action against the persons involved in the activities of cutting such trees and also to mark each and every tree in Ram Nagar so that the green trees of Devdar and Baan can be saved from the clutches of these miscreants. The matter is now listed in the Court on Dec 19, 2017, for state reply in this matter.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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