H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Planting trees may be mandatory
for Shimla residents
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 5
In order to save and protect the depleting forest cover in the town, the government is considering the enforcement of mandatory plantation for the residents by earmarking open spaces in every ward for the purpose.

The proposal to save the most precious forest wealth of the state Capital will be incorporated in the development plan, which is in the final stages of completion.

“Every family will be asked to plant trees equal to the number of members in the family and tend to those till they grew big,” informed an official in the Town and Country Planning Department.

Deliberations on afforestation, agriculture, horticulture and landscaping will be held on November 10 before the final draft of the development plan is submitted. “Land will be earmarked in every ward, be it Municipal Corporation or forest land, on which plantation will be done by the residents of that particular area,” said officials.

He added that the responsibility of monitoring the plantation drive would be entrusted to the ward members, “so that the results are encouraging”. He said this drive would aim at complete community participation as it was felt that this was the only way to increase the green cover in the town.

Deliberations will also be held with the horticulture and agriculture departments on the uprooted orchards and shrinking fields in and around the town. The number of orchards and gardens in the town have shrunk and this had led to haphazard urbanisation. “We will chalk out a plan with the agriculture and horticulture departments so as to strike a balance between the land under fruits and crops,” he said.

Tourists throng Dharamsala at the herald of winter.
(28k, 56k)



Unfortunately, the handful of orchards and fields in the vicinity of the town have been encircled by massive concrete structure. Officials point out that there was a need to preserve and increase the forest cover in the town.

Another aspect of landscaping which is rated very highly and given special attention abroad has been virtually missing in the state Capital. “Monstrous concrete structures are turning out to be eyesores and landscaping completely missing,” say officials. They point out that it is a must to beautify the town and have its growth in a scientific manner.

The authorities will also discuss issues related to housing, trade, commerce and industry. Stress will be laid on avoiding designs which are contrary to the ecological imperatives. Efforts will be made to regulate trade and commerce and specially the hotel industry which has come up in the most haphazard manner, making the town a virtual concrete jungle.

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