To prevent Soil Erosion & Excessive runoff: Himachal Cabinet decides to expand the green cover 

 Himachal Pradesh saw one of the worst flash floods, floods, landslides, and washing down of fertile land during the current Monsoon season forcing the state council of ministers to expand the green cover to prevent soil erosion and excessive runoff.

The CoMs have taken this decision during a cabinet meeting held here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.

A CoMs press release issued here said that a  ‘Mukhya Mantri Van Vistaar Yojna’ would launch to expand green cover on the barren lands of hills or mountains with a motive to, preventing soil erosion and excessive runoff on degraded and refractory hills slopes. 

” To ensure the effective implementation of this Yojana, a Task Force will be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, the Head of Forest Force (HoFF). Further, it was decided that the maintenance of selected areas will be done for seven years and the work of plantation and maintenance will be outsourced, preferably involving local inhabitants.’ the press release said

CoMs also decided to soften green norms under H.P. Nautor Rules, 1968 for a period of two years subject to conditions such as areas not falling under protected forest including  National Parks, Sanctuary, Conservation Reserves,  Community Reserve,  Reserve Forest and /Demarcated Projected Forest. The decision was taken to allow the allotment of Natutar ( plot of land on compensatory grounds) provided such a piece of land should not exceed tree more than two. CoMs decided that such allotment would be provided only for domestic purposes to those people who would not be involved in any kind of forest offence.  

CoMs also saw a presentation regarding HP lease rules, 2013 as amended in 2016 and 2017 and decided to examine the issue of granting a lease to Hydro Electric Projects from a holistic perspective and submit recommendations on the lease amount to be charged.  

The CoMs also decided to ensure the medical services work round the clock in three shifts in the six departments including Neurosurgery, Radiology, Plastic Surgery, Anaesthesia, Orthopaedics and General Surgery and for this purpose, the government would create and fill up additional 136 posts of nursing and para-medical staff in order to make Trauma Centre and Emergency Medicine Department, IGMC, Shimla functional to facilitate the patients. 

It was also decided to create posts of Assistant District Attorneys for newly established Civil Courts at Dharampur and Padhar in Mandi district and for newly established Additional District and Session Courts at Nurpur, Dehra, Palampur, Paonta Sahib and Rohru and seven posts of Deputy District Attorneys for POCSO Courts and Special CBI Court. Nod was given to create and fill up seven posts of various categories in the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.

The Cabinet decided to enhance the honorarium of Special Police Officers posted in border areas of the State by Rs. 500 per month. It also gave its approval to draft Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporations, Municipal Council and Nagar Panchayat maintenance of Parivar Register Rules, 2023, for maintaining proper records of families residing in urban areas. The Cabinet gave its approval to rationalize the charges of services being provided by the Lok Mitra Kendras in the State. The Cabinet also gave its nod to Himachal Pradesh Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2023 on the analogy of the CGST Act in order to implement recommendations made by the GST Council.

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