Lantana weed affects biodiversity in 1800 sq km area in HP


The Lantana weed has affected biodiversity in over 1,800 sq km of forest lands in Himachal Pradesh as per a survey of Forest department, the assembly was informed today.

To root out the exotic shrub, a cut root stock method has been adopted under which foliage fodder is replanted after clearing the weed, Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said in a written reply.

From 2009-2013 the weed was removed from 6,305 hectares of forest land and the government targeted to clear 5000 hectares of forest land of Lantana weed during 2013-14, he said.

According to a report published by the Forest Survey of India in 2005, the hill state has 14,752 sq km of forest area of which only 1,097 sq km area was covered under dense forests.

In reply to another question related to Trout Breeding Farm, the Forest minister said every possible effort was being made to encourage trout fish farming in the state.

He said state government would study pattern of fish farming being followed by other states in the country. “If it is found necessary, state government would take steps to include fisheries in the agriculture sector”.

Maheshwar Singh (HLP) raised the demand to include fisheries in the agriculture sector so that people engaged in this activity could avail benefits of various subsidised schemes.

He also raised the demand of increasing the rates of trout fish by Rs 100 per kilogramme.

Asha Kumar (Cong) demanded reopening of the old Trout Breeding Farm at Bhandal in Chamba.

The minister said the fisheries department was exploring the possibility of leasing out this trout rearing unit to some private entrepreneur.

Irrigation and Public health minister Vidya Stokes told Kuldeep Kumar (Cong) that the Detailed Project Report worth Rs 598.72 crore of phase four of Swan River Channelisation sent in November 2009 was yet to get clearance from the Central Water Commission of GoI.-PTI

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