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Forest department rules out handing over its rest houses to UEDCL

Press Trust of India  |  Dehradun 

Armed with a recent order, the today ruled out handing over five of its rest houses to Eco-tourism (UEDCL).

"In compliance with the apex court order we can't hand over five of the rest houses located in our division to UEDCL," Chief of Forests, Manoj Chandran, said.

"The court order gives the entire control of Forest Rest Houses (FRHs)and Inspection Bungalows to the forest department and therefore it is impossible to hand them over to any other authority," Chandran said.

The UEDCL had sent a request to the forest department about three months ago seeking control of Laldhang, Sendhikhal, Kolhuchaud, Sneh and rest houses located in division.

Chandran, who is also the for forest land transfer in Uttarakhand, had returned the request to UEDCL due to some objections.

"However, with the apex court's order the chapter is closed forever. We can't now give control of our FRHs to any entity in any form," Chandran said.

Welcoming the order, DVS Khati said it will further strengthen wildlife conservation efforts.

Disposing of a writ petition on alleged misuse of forest rest houses for a variety of activities, the apex court on July 5 issued an order giving total control of these facilities to the forest department.

"Forest Rest Houses / Inspection Bungalows are facilities created for camping of forest officers primarily for discharge of their duties connected with conservation, protection and management of forests and wildlife.

"These Rest Houses have very limited number of rooms. Therefore the control of Forest Rest Houses, including their reservation, shall under all circumstances remain with the Forest Department," a division bench of the comprising Justice and Justice had said.

The order was issued in the light of guidelines framed by central empowered committee for control and maintenance of Forest Rest Houses and Inspection Bungalows located inside Forests.

The Ministry of Environment, is directed to circulate a copy of this order to the of Forests of all the states and ensure that they abide by these guidelines, the apex court order said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 16:55 IST