Himachal CM Sukhu to raise delays in forest clearances with Centre

CM Sukhu is concerned over delays in clearances to forest clearances for development projects.

Shimla | Updated: 15 February, 2023 3:20 pm IST
Chief Minister 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.
Chief Minister 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.

Expressing concerns over the delay in clearances to development projects under forest laws, chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said that his government would take up the issue with the Centre.

He said that the Congress government is committed to speeding up development works in the hill state.

Speaking at a meeting of the forest department, CM Sukhu said, “The state government is committed to keeping a balance between development and environment.”

“Development projects of utmost importance like heliports, electric vehicle charging stations and day boarding schools were affected due to delay in getting Forest Conservation Act (FCA) and Forests Rights Act ( FRA) approvals,” he told officials.

Chief minister Sukhu directed forest officers to expedite the cases of FCA and FRA clearances and fix the accountability of officers.

Earlier, the chief minister also attended the 11th meeting of the Himachal Pradesh State Board for Wildlife and directed officials to explore tourism activities like water sports and hot air balloon operations in the Pong Dam reservoir to attract more tourists to the Kangra Valley. He said that it would go a long way in enhancing the income of locals.

The Congress leader said: “Mathial and Kathrah Khas in Dhameta range and Nangal Chowk sites in Nagrota Surian range have been identified. The forest and tourism department will join hands to take this initiative forward so that employment opportunities can be explored.”

“The state government has decided to develop Kangra as the tourism capital of Himachal Pradesh and the best infrastructure would be made available to the tourists visiting the area,” he added.

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.

CM Sukhu said that the state government was implementing various schemes to preserve wildlife and urged the people to support these efforts.

He also released the calendar of the forest department on the occasion.

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