even as the Malana Power Company has paid Rs 63 lakh to the Himachal Forest Department for illegally felling 1,400 trees at the Malana hydro project site in Kullu district, the Himachal Pradesh (hp) High Court has issued notices to the state government and the offending company to file their replies for the alleged offence.
It is reported that although the state government had forwarded Malana's case to the Union ministry of environment and forests (mef) for approval, the company could not wait for the go-ahead and chopped the trees violating the Forest Conservation Act. The state government slapped a fine of Rs 1.23 crore, out of which Rs 63 lakh was paid by the company.
As the issue snowballs into a controversy, the Chandigarh regional office of mef has demanded a report from the hp government. It has also sent an independent team to the site for proper assessment of the incident.