KHADC to prohibit cutting of trees in catchment areas

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Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Sept 27:
In view of the water bodies being threatened by human activities, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Thursday said that the Council’s Forest Act would be amended inserting a new provision in section 7 to impose strict prohibition of “felling of tress” along the “catchment areas” within its jurisdiction.
With the implementation of the new provision, all traditional institutions will be directed to take responsibility to ensure there is no further exploitation of the catchment areas and take stern actions against violators even if it is on privately owned lands.
“We would include a new provision in Section 7 of the Act wherein imposing strict prohibition of felling of trees along the catchment areas to preserve the water bodies and prevent them from further deterioration due to human activities,” KHADC CEM PN Syiem told reporters after the meeting of the Khasi Hills United Democratic Alliance (KHUDA) held here on Thursday.
He said, “We have decided to amend the Forest Act of the Council in the upcoming Winter Session of the council slated on October next.”
“There shall be no felling of trees in one kilometers radius from the catchment areas,” he said adding “The decision was taken in view of the problem of scarcity of water faced at present by the region.”
According to him, the traditional institutions including Syiems, headmen of different villages including rural and urban areas falling under the jurisdictions of the KHADC will be asked to follow the Act.
“The involvement of the traditional institutions in ensuring that the Act is put into implementation will play a major role in helping us to preserve and conserve the water bodies in the region,” the CEM stated.
He further informed that there will also be stringent actions against violators as the Act applies to all areas even if it is owned by private individuals.
Apprising on the other resolutions taken up during the meeting, the CEM said, “We have decided to introduce the proposed Village Administration Bill in the upcoming winter session” adding “The draft bill is already in the final stage.”
“The Bill has clearly stated that the Headman cannot issue residential certificates without the approval of the Dorbar Shnong which will help in checking influx, illegal migrant in the state,” he added.
On the delimitation issue, the CEM said, “We have not been able to come to any resolution on the matter” adding “We have decided to ask for some more views and suggestions from the MDCs before taking a final call on the matter.”


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