Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding ecological destruction of Kufri, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, 13/03/2023
The National Green Tribunal (NGT), March 13, 2023 directed a joint committee to look into the matter of the ecological destruction of Kufri, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
The committee comprising Divisional Forest Officer, Shimla, Regional Officer, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board and District Magistrate, Shimla would visit the site, collect relevant information and submit a factual as well as action taken, if any, report within two months.
Shailendra Kumar Yadav, an advocate by profession in his letter petition said that snowfall in Kufri has been declining for the past two decades. As a result, water resources are drying and Shimla town is devoid of any snow for most of the winter season.
"There are about 700-800 horses functioning in a small area of 8-10 Sq. Kms, in and around the tourist village of Kufri, which is at the edge of reserve forest and catchment. Uncontrolled movement of horses has irreparably damaged flora and fauna of this eco-system," said the application.
The local administration has made available a huge area as a parking area for horses in the prohibited area of forest. After the day's plying, the owners of these horses let the horses into the adjoining forests causing severe damage to deodar tree roots along with flora and fauna therein, the applicant said.
Forest at a particular patch about one km from Kufri on the Chail Kufri road has been severely damaged by the horse owners by making an illegal road using a JCB machine which was in the knowledge of the forest authorities but they have not taken any action in the matter, the complainant said.