Sunday, February 25, 2024

MoEF orders investigation into tree felling in M’laya

Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has stopped all working schemes in Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) plantations, besides ordering an inquiry into the matter, official said Saturday.
MoEF had issued an order after reports blanket felling of trees by KHADC authorities in Lai Lad area and Byrnihat.
In its order, the ministry asked the Meghalaya government to constitute a committee headed by Conservator of Forests (M&E) to inquire into the matter and submit a status report on the felling of trees in the two forest areas owned by KHADC.
“Till such time the report is submitted, the operations of all approved working schemes under KHADC may be kept in abeyance,” the ministry said. KHADC controls 96 per cent of forests in the three districts of Meghalaya East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi, besides owning twelve plantations covering a total of 3300.53 hectares of forest land.
The Centre also expressed surprise over continued felling of trees by KHADC as the working scheme for Umling-Lailad forest had been approved only for five years from 2000-2001 “with certain conditions.”
“It is presumed that the said working scheme operation should have completed already. However, it has come to our knowledge that certain complaints have been received in this office on the continuation of working scheme operations under KHADC,” the order said.

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