The Supreme Court of India has permitted to axe the khair trees on government forest land in 10 forest divisions of the department in Himachal Pradesh. This was stated by Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu here today. He said that the State Government had pleaded the case cogently in the Court and it has delivered its judgment in favour of the Forest Department. He said that a working plan was ready for felling of khair trees in five forest divisions including Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Nalagarh and Kutlehar and yield prescribed was 16500 trees per annum in these forest divisions and extraction of khair will commence shortly.
The Chief Minister said that preparation of working plan for the remaining five forest divisions i.e. Nahan, Poanta Sahib, Dharamshala, Nurpur and Dehra were underway. He said the forest officers would initiate the process of inspecting the forests and counting the khair trees would be conducted in order to prepare a working plan for these five forest divisions.
Sh. Sukhu said that silviculture felling of khair trees was better for forest management and rejuvenation, besides revenue generation for the state exchequer. He said that most of the khair trees were decaying due to non extraction of the timber in time and this was a major obstacle in the direction of better forest management. He said that the State Government had taken up this matter with the Apex Court keeping in mind the interest of the State.
The Chief Minister said that the Supreme Court of India had allowed felling of khair trees in the year 2018 on experiment 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.