Shimla: Faced with cluttering of power lines, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal let the Vidhan Sabha know that the state would prefer having one transmission line in a river basin for evacuate power from the upcoming hydropower projects.
However, he said that where work on some transmission lines by power projects was in a advanced stage, it was not possible to bring it under the proposed single line.
The chief minister was responding to a resolution moved under Rule 130 by Kaul Singh about protecting precious forest cover in the state.
Dhumal said that laying of river basin transmission lines would involve felling of lesser trees and would also reduce cluttering of many transmission lines.
Refuting allegations that the forest mafia was active again, he said that only isolated cases of illicit felling of green trees was surfacing which the enforcing agencies was effectively tracking down.
Showing concern an overgrown monkey population damaging crops and farmlands, he said that despite granting of permission to kill, farmers themselves have not been very keen to do so.
â€œWhen permission to kill monkeys had been granted, a Delhi based NGO filed an public interest litigation and obtained a stay on it,â€ said Dhumal. â€œIt is ironic that an NGO, which is not even aware about the damage being caused to crops files the PIL,â€ he added.
To contain the monkey population, over 31,000 monkeys had been sterilized in the state, he said.
Denying that there were any violations to Forest Conservation Act, 1980 he said that no concrete structures had been put up in the two forest rest houses and seven camping sites that had been leased under eco-tourism. â€œAt one eco-tourism site in kangra district, the party wanted to put up a mud construction but that too wad disallowed by the forest department, whose officers had been directed to ensure that there is no violation of rules at the eco-tourism sites.
Earlier moving the resolution, Kaul Singh asked the government to impose a blanket ban on the felling of trees in forests as not only was the forest cover in the state depleting but even wild animals were moving into farmlands as their habitat was shrinking and causing man-animal conflict to rise, which the government needed to resolve.