Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

GOVT TO FILE REVIEW PETITION AGAINST TREE FELLING IN HC

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Chief minister Virbhadra Singh expressed his displeasur­e over the forest department’s campaign to remove encroachme­nts by orchardist­s on government owned land by felling apple trees. In the wake of the Himachal High Court’s order to raze encroachme­nts, forest officials launched a drive to axe trees in forested areas.

“The forest department should adopt a humane approach while cutting trees on government land. The genesis of the problem of such encroachme­nts lies with the previous BJP led state government that announced all encroach- ments would be regularise­d. Scores of state residents not only applied for getting this done but many others encroached on government land,” he said.

He said the state government would file a review petition in the high court urging it to reconsider its decision. “The government intends to move the HC over the issue. Instead of chopping apple trees the forest department could have fenced the encroached areas. While marginal farmers are being targeted in the anti-encroachme­nt drive the big encroacher­s have become members of the ‘kisan sabha’”, he said.

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