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 took 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 be launched to expand green cover on the barren lands of hills or mountains with the motive of preventing soil erosion and excessive runoff on degraded and refractory hill 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 the H.P. Nautor Rules, 1968, for a period of two years, subject to conditions such as areas not falling under protected forest, including National Park, Sanctuary, Conservation Reserve, Community Reserve, Reserve Forest, and/or Demarcated Projected Forest.
A decision was taken to allow the allotment of Natutar (a plot of land on compensatory grounds), provided such a piece of land should not exceed two trees. CoMs decided that such allotment would be provided only for domestic purposes to those who would not be involved in any kind of forest offence.
CoMs also saw a presentation regarding HP lease rules from 2013 as amended in 2016 and 2017 and decided to examine the issue of granting leases to hydroelectric 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 an additional 136 posts of nursing and para-medical staff in order to make the 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 the newly established Civil Courts at Dharampur and Padhar in Mandi district and for the newly established Additional District and Session Courts at Nurpur, Dehra, Palampur, Paonta Sahib, and Rohru, as well as seven posts of Deputy District Attorneys for POCSO Courts and the Special CBI Court. The nod was given to create and fill up seven posts in 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 the draft Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporations, Municipal Council, and Nagar Panchayat Maintenance of Parivar Register Rules, 2023, for maintaining a proper record of families residing in urban areas.
The Cabinet gave its approval to rationalise the charges for services being provided by the Lok Mitra Kendras in the State. The Cabinet also gave its nod to the 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.