The National Green Tribunal has granted six weeks time to the state to chalk out a common policy for the removal of encroachments on forest lands by Tibetans.

Acting on the petition filed by Pawan Kumar, who had urged tribunal to direct the state government to remove the encroachments of Tibetans on the forest land and engraving or painting on rocks in the forest area, a Bench comprising Justice UD Salvi and BS Sajwan beside granted six weeks time to the state to chalk out a common policy for the removal of encroachments, also allowed the prayer of the state vide which it had submitted that regarding engraving or painting on rocks, they needed some consultation with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to identify rock paintings or engravings regarding its heritage value and granted time to the state government to take necessary measures for consultation with the ASI for the removal of paintings on the rocks.

Petitioner had also alleged that the state government had taken action against the citizens of the country, but no action had been taken against the Tibetans.

Earlier, Himachal Pradesh high court had ordered to clear the illegal encroachments by Tibetans in McLeodganj area and had fixed a deadline of March 31, 2013, to clear such encroachments. However, forest department had failed to abide by the order.

Tibetan authorities have urged the state government to regularize the illegal encroachments by them in McLeodganj lands, stating that they have been living here since they took asylum in India after China invaded Tibet. There were 210 illegal land encroachments cases by Tibetan people.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.