Virender Kashyap

Shimla Member Parliament Virender Kashyap has requested the Union Environment and Forest Ministry to include creation of Shamshanghat and construction of Gausadan in rural villages of Himachal Pradesh under ‘The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006’.

Shimla MP, in his letter to the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, requested to amend Section 3 (2) of Chapter-II of Forest Rights Act, 2006, so as the Forest Land could be diverted for the creation of Shamshanghat and construction of Gausadan. He said

“Local residents residing in hill areas of Himachal Pradesh and other hill states surrounded by reserve forests land are being harassed by the Forest Department for the land used for funeral purpose (Shamshanghat) and for construction of Gausadan. Since these two activities of Shamshanghat and Gausadan is not included in the aforesaid Section comprising 13 nos. of activities”

Shimla parliamentarian stated that relief will facilitate the local people of Himachal Pradesh and other hill states to perform their social activities.

At present Section 3 (2) of Chapter-II of Forest Rights Act, allows the diversion of forest land for various activities which involves felling of trees not exceeding 75 trees per hectare such as Schools, dispensary or hospital, anganwadis, fair price shops, electric and telecommunication lines, tanks and other minor water bodies, drinking water supply and water pipelines, water or rain water harvesting structures, minor irrigation canals, non-conventional source of energy, skill upgradation or vocational training centres, roads and community centres with the conditions that Forest Land to be diverted for the purpose is less than one hectare for each case and should be recommended by Gram Sabha for local developmental projects.

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