Expressing concern over the delay in FCA and FRA clearances for the developmental projects in the state, Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the State Government would take up this issue with the Union Government, so that the works of developments projects could be taken in hand at the earliest.
This was stated by the Chief Minister while presiding over a meeting of the forest department here today.
The State Government was committed to keep a balance between development and environment, he said adding that development projects of utmost importance like heliports, electric vehicle charging stations and day boarding schools etc. were affected due to delay in getting FCA and FRA approvals. He directed the forest officers to expedite the cases of FCA and FRA clearances and accountability of officers will also be fixed in this matter.
Earlier, the Chief Minister also presided over the 11th meeting of Himachal Pradesh State Board for Wildlife and directed the department to explore tourism activities like water sports and hot air balloon operations in Pong Dam reservoir so that maximum tourists should be attracted to Kangra Valley which would go a long way in enhancing the income of the locals. He said that Mathial and Kathrah Khas in Dhameta range and Nangal Chowk sites in Nagrota Surian range have been identified and the Forest and Tourism department will join hands to take this matter forward so that employment opportunities can be explored, he added. The state government has decided to develop Kangra as Tourism Capital of the State and best infrastructure would be made available to the tourists visiting the area, said Sh. Sukhu.
Adventurous activities like swimming, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and diving etc. should be promoted in the reservoir, said the Chief Minister, adding that communities engaged in agriculture and grazing should also be involved by tourism agencies to support their livelihoods. He said that the State Government was implementing various schemes to preserve the wildlife and urged the people to support these efforts.
Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also released the calendar of the Forest department on the occasion.
PCCF (HOFF) V.K. Tiwari and PCCF (Wildlife) Rajeev Kumar briefed about the activities of the Department.
APCCF (Wildlife) Anil Thakur welcomed the Chief Minister in the meeting, while CCF (Wildlife) Upasna Patial presented the vote of thanks.
Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Sunder Singh Thakur and Sanjay Awasthi, MLA Bhawani Singh Pathania, Principal Secretary, Forest, Onkar Chand Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Bharat Khera, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Devesh Kumar, Director Tourism, Amit Kashyap and other senior officers of the Forest Department were also present in the meeting.