Bamboo harvesting in Himachal to be de-controlled

Shimla: With many farmers in the low lying parts of the state in Bilaspur, Kangra, Hamirpur, Sirmaur and Una districts unable to harvest Bamboo at will due to restriction imposed by forest produce laws, the state government plans to decontrol the activity by taking it out of the purview of HP Land Preservation Act.

After presiding over a meeting of forest officers chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the government would be taking Bamboo out of the category of timber grown on private land by the owners which earlier was included in the list of species classified as timber.

Bamboo, which happens to be an important forestry cash crop grown Bilaspur, Kangra, Hamirpur, Sirmour and Una districts is of utmost use for construction of houses, cow sheds and other infrastructural activities.

Being a forest produce a lot of restrictions and regulations had been imposed on its harvesting and transportation as bamboo has been defined as tree under the Forest Rules and Regulations.

Felling, conversion and transportation of bamboo in the private areas was being undertaken by Special Power of Attorney and its transportation was being regulated under the HP Forest Produce Transit (Land Routes) Rules, for being a forest produce.

He said the government proposed to decontrol the working of bamboos grown in private areas by taking all types of bamboo out of the purview of the HP Land Preservation Act, 1978 and from the requirement of a permit issued to the effect.

With the deletion of the provisions, bamboo owners would be free to fell their produce in accordance with the three year felling programme notified by the divisional forest officer and approved by the concerned forest conservator, each year.
He said that with the denotification of the bamboo farmers would be facilitated with using their cash produce for bonafide purposes as per their requirements.

The government has also announced higher subsidy to BPL families for construction of bamboo based poly houses under the Rs 353 crore Pandit Deen Dayal Kisaan Baagwan Samridhi Yojna, he added.

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