Taking note of news reports on felling of five more trees in Ramnagar area here, the Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed the divisional forest officer (Urban) to be present on the next date of hearing, January 9. The councillor of Ram Nagar was also directed to be present. During the hearing, the additional advocate general assured the high court that the officer concerned shall visit the spot and take appropriate action, in accordance with the law. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel passed the orders on a petition moved by the people of Ram Nagar. The petitioners had claimed that they were fighting to save the thick forest surrounding the area and alleged that advanced technology was being used to cut down trees within a minute and were being taken away leaving no proof behind.
They also alleged that on the midnight of July 13, 2017, some trees were felled, but when a complaint was made in this regard, many were saved from being cut after the intervention of the forest officer. The petitioners also requested the court to direct the forest department to take strict action against persons involved in illegally cutting down trees and also to mark each and every tree in Ram Nagar so that the Devdar and Baan varities can be saved from the clutches of miscreants. Another instance of felling of trees in the area was brought to the notice of the court through news articles on January 5, 2018.