Himachal still relies on decade old forest survey

Shimla, April 4 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government relies on more than a decade old data when it comes to assess the state’s forest cover.

“The state has 37,033 sq km under forest cover,” Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri told the state assembly Thursday.

The data presented by him was based on a forest survey conducted in 2000 by the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

According to a 2009 report published by the Forest Survey of India, the hill state with a geographical area of 55,673 sq km is left with only 14,668 sq km (26.35 percent) of forest cover.

Bharmouri said that according to the forest institute report, the net worth of the forest was around Rs.40,860 crore.

On a supplementary, the minister said the government didn’t assess separately the monetary value of the trees of ‘khair’ species.

Responding to a demand made by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mohinder Singh to explain the method adopted by the institute to conduct the survey, the minister said he would look into it.

“The information will be provided in this session only,” he said.

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