Forest and Wildlife Protection Minister Sadhu Singh Dharmsot on Sunday made it clear that the Punjab Land Protection Act-1900 (PLPA) would come in handy in putting a stop to the loss of forestry owing to the erosion of soil in the Shivalik hill ranges in the state. He said that this Act would also protect wildlife. The minister further clarified that as per the notifications of the Punjab government, the Punjab Land Protection (Choes) Act 1900 was framed with the purpose to protect certain regions adjoining Shivalik hills from Choes or hill torrents flowing through the forests and thus ensuring their protection. The minister further said that the Punjab government in the gazette of 1900 has stated that the PLPA is framed with the intention of stopping the extinction of forests because of deboisement. He also divulged that in accordance with the gazette dated August 3, 1905 the Punjab Land Protection (Choes) Act 1900 is very effective in a localised and limited area whose purpose is to stop loss of forestry, focusing on a forestation and besides this, securing villages adjoining Shivalik hills from onslaught of Choes. Disclosing more, Dharmsot said that the notification clearly specifies the restrictions which are necessary for protecting maintenance and safekeeping of forests as per which the report pertaining to 32,208 acres area under forest in 1980, 14,234 hectares in 2003, 14,154 in 2009 and 13,997 in 2011 was sent to the department. He also divulged that the Congress government has got delisted 56,000 acre land, which was under cultivation and residential, thus giving a major relief to the people. The minister elaborated that whereas on one side today the international community is concerned about global warming, pollution, depleting level of water, environmental changes, on the other side, BJP leader Vineet Joshi is playing politics at the behest of land mafia and doesn’t want the extinction of forests and environmental pollution trend to stop. Dharmsot said that BJP is devoid of issues which is why it’s leaders are indulging in issuing senseless statements and using kandi area farmers as pawns.
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