Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister J. P. Nadda said over the weekend that the National Wildlife Board at its meeting held in Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh had agreed to exclude 767 villages from the wildlife sanctuary areas in the State. He said the proposal would come into force after approval from the Supreme Court.

Dhumal convinces Ramesh

“Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has personally convinced the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests in this regard,” he said. He added that all development works were hampered in hundreds of villages because of their proximity to the sanctuary areas.

Report submitted

Mr. Nadda said that on the recommendation of the State government for rationalisation of wildlife sanctuaries an expert committee constituted by the National Wildlife Board visited Himachal last April and finally submitted its report, agreeing to the proposal of the State government.

The Forest Minister also pointed out that in Himachal Pradesh forests are located in close proximity to the villages and almost in all activities the local people are involved and there is a need to maintain an equilibrium between development needs and conservation. He said the notable feature of the rationalisation move was that it would bring relief to about 1.13 lakh people of these 767 villages.