Development and ecology's protection government's priority: Nadda

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Shimla, Mar 27 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister J P Nadda today said that the state government will work on a strategy to ensure that development works across the state were carried out at a rapid pace without destroying its ecology.

Replying to a discussion on cut motion on forest and wild life moved by Congress members in the House, he said that although there have been cases where development works had been hindered due to certain provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, but it cannot be denied that the Act has been helpful in preserving forest cover in the state.

Mr Nadda said lack of awareness amongst people towards environment protection has been one of the chief reasons that has made implementation of Forest Clearance Act essential.

''It is because people are not aware towards environment protection that makes enforcing of conservation laws necessary,'' he added.

He said keeping in mind the concept of sustainable growth it would be government's effort that the process for according clearances under the forest conservation Act was expedited and development works were not delayed due to unnecessary objections.

The Minister said the department has given clearance to 923 cases, out of which the state government cleared 23 and the clearances in other 900 were given by the government of India.

Expressing concern over problems faced by farmers due to animal acts, especially monkey menace, he said that government would step up the sterilisation process of monkeys.

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