Tribune News Service
Mahendragarh, January 4
The Forest Department has imposed a penalty of over Rs5 lakh on Om Minerals, a private mining firm, for axing a large number of trees in their mining area in the Nangal Choudhary region here.
Sources say the department had also written to the District Development and Panchayat Officer, Mahendragarh, to charge the cost of the trees axed from the firm, as they were panchayat department’s property.
The action has been taken on an inquiry report submitted by a two-member inquiry panel following the directives of the Gurgaon Forest Conservator after the matter grabbed the media attention a week ago. The panel had found 1,051 trees near the Krishanwati river axed and held 29 persons responsible, said sources.
“The penalty amount for the 1,051 trees has been calculated around Rs5 lakh as per Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act. We have served a notice on the firm to deposit the fine,” Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sunder Lal said, adding that under the Act, a penalty of Rs500 per trees was imposed.
He said since the gram panchayat was the owner of trees, the Panchayat Department had also been communicated either for charging the cost of tress from the mining firm on its own or lodging an FIR against the guilty persons.
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