Solan, May 9
The Principal Secretary, Forests, appointed four Tree Officers for the Municipal Corporations of Palampur, Mandi, Solan and Dharamsala today.
Taking note of The Tribune news which had highlighted how the absence of these officers in three newly upgraded civic bodies and one existing body had hit genuine works, the state government today assigned the task to local forest officials.
The news had highlighted how 45 cases of axing trees were pending under the Solan civic body ever since the body was upgraded from a municipal council to corporation in 2020.
As per the provision of Section 343 of the HP Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, the state government is supposed to appoint one or more officers not below the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forest as Tree Officer in the MC area. A proposal was pending before the state government since September 2021.
The government, however, woke up to address the issue after the issue was prominently highlighted in these columns on May 3.
The absence of this officer was not only causing inconvenience to local residents who required permission to axe trees hanging precariously but was also encouraging illegal axing of trees. Five trees had been axed at a public park in Solan a few days ago.
Solan DFO Shreshtha Nand has been given the additional charge of Tree Officer at Solan while the DFO, Dharamsala, Sanjeev Sharma has been assigned this task at Dharamsala on an additional basis.
DCFs of Palampur and Mandi, too, have been assigned the task on additional basis by the Principal Secretary, Forests, today. The Tree Officer is supposed to inspect such sites and then grant permission to the applicants to axe trees.