HP to review faulty Timber Distribution policy

Shimla/March 20
Himachal government will review the faulty Timber Distribution (TD) Policy as it is depriving eligible people from getting timber during pat
five years.
Forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri while replying to a question of Rohit Thakur (Congress) and Gobind Singh Thakur (BJP) said that the state government is reviewing the policy approved by previous BJP regime.
Bharmouri said that eligible persons are not getting the benefit of TD rights as many lacunae were found in the current policy in vogue.
As per the records, 9777 applications received during past five years and only 813 applications were accepted and 1007 cases are still pending due to loopholes in the policy. He also accused the previous BJP government of withdrawing the powers of forest Department to sanction timber under TD rules to the people and pointed out that if any illicit felling was taking place in the garb of TD rights, it was responsibility of Forest Department to check the same but the BJP government handed over the Timber Distribution work to HP State forest corporations.
The TD rights were banned in the state following a writ petitions filed in the Himachal High court on Jun 6, 2006. “Even local temples in the state were deprived from exercising the TD Rights to construct the shrines as no provisions have been made the policy although fallen trees were being allowed to be used for funeral,” the minister said.
He further stated that a number of unwarranted conditions were imposed restricting the grant of TD to a family after 30 years and a period of three months has been provided for considering the fresh requests for TD. Meanwhile, Mohinder Singh Thakur of BJP alleged that minister was misleading the house by giving contradictory reply as he had already stated in his reply to another questions that 10 cubic meter timber were distributed under the TD rights in Rohru subdivision. When the Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal pointed out that the BJP government had framed and approved the policy after the intervention of Himachal High Court, the minister replied that the previous government approved this policy in the state cabinet first and then and than presented it before high court and implemented on Jan 2, 2010. He accused the former BJP government of taking five years for framing the policy which was found to be faulty and the new government would revise and rationalize the policy to ensure that eligible people were not deprived of TD rights.
He said that under the TD policy, people belonging to general categories were being allotted timber at 33 percent of the market price, BPL families at ten per cent of cost and free timber to people affected by natural calamities.