SHIMLA----The High Court of H.P. on Tuesday directed the state government to file fresh status report in the matter pertaining to felling green deodar trees at Dharamshala despite ban on felling such trees by the High Court.
A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on a letter written to the Chief Justice by Ghazala Abdullah. The petitioner had alleged that a large number of Deodar trees were being felled in Mcleodganj at Dharamshala for the purpose of commercial activities and when she approached the A.S.P., D.C., Municipal Corporation, Forest Department, Panchayat Pradhan, & CID department regarding the matter, no action was taken by the authorities. A committee of Revenue, Police, and Municipal Councils and forest officials was also framed to probe the allegations of illegal felling of Deodar trees in Dharmshala Municipal area. During the inspection the committee had found that a large numbers of trees were felled with and without the permission from the office of Deputy Commissioner Kangra. In this case the court had also appointed Amicus Curie to make verifications and to visit the spot regarding the illegal felling of trees.
Ghazala Abdullah has sent another letter through e-mail to the Registary of High Court, which was taken on record by the court. It was pointed out in the letter that Municipal Corporation, Dharamshal is performing its functions satisfactorily but still no action has been taken against some of the encroachers. The court also directed the Registry of High court to supply the copy of the letter to Advocate General and asked the state government to file fresh report in terms of the letter on or before 23rd March, 2016.
It was also brought to the notice of the Court by Municipal Corporation, Dharamshala, that it had approached Forest Research Institute, Dheradun for determining the age of the stumps of the trees, but the said institute has demanded Rs 5,61,050/- for undertaking the said job. Therefore, it was requested by Rajiv Jivan counsel for M.C. Dharamshala that Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun may be impleaded a party respondent in this matter and the same was accepted by the court.
The matter will be listed before the court on 23rdMarch, 2016 for further hearing.
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