Granting a major relief to Himachal Pradesh government after 22 years, the Supreme Court has allowed green felling, also called silviculture felling, in three forest ranges of Kangra, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts, on an experimental basis. A ban on green felling was imposed in 1996.
On February 16, the court had set up a committee of two expert members — V P Mohan, former principal chief conservator of forests, and Nauni Solan, Vice-Chancellor of Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry.
The order was passed last Friday by a division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta on an application filed by the state government.
Only three varieties of trees viz Khair, a commercially exploitable variety grown in lower areas of Himachal, Sal and Chil will be allowed .The ranges where the felling will be permitted include Nurpur, Bharari and Paonta range respectively in Kangra, Bilaspur and Sirmur.