Though it accounts for only 2.5% of total offences, Himachal Pradesh stands fourth in environmental violations across the country. Out of 8765 cases reported in India on environmental violations, as many as 150 were from Himachal Pradesh which included offences under Forest Act 1927, Wild life Protection Act, 1972 and Environmental (protection) Act 1986.
A recently released report of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) revealed that 134 cases were reported under Forest Act 1927, 15 under wildlife protection and only one case under Environment Protection Act in Himachal Pradesh. However no offence under air, water pollution control acts was reported in the state.
Rajasthan tops the list with 2927 environmental violations which constitutes 50% of total offences followed by Uttar Pradesh (1597).
In northern region Uttarakhand recorded 40 environmental offences, Haryana 21, while Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab recorded eight and six violations respectively.
For these violations, 238 people including two women were arrested in Himachal Pradesh. 217 person were arrested for violations under Forest Act 1927, 19 under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and two were arrested for offence under Environmental (protection) Act 1986. Highest arrests were made in Rajasthan (3320) and Uttar Pradesh (3281). All in all, 8765 person were arrested for environmental offence in India.
Environmentalist and former forest official Rishi Bhalaik said violations are due to defective power policy formed by state in connivance with Power Producers. "As far as violations by locals are concerned, it is due to political reasons and when customary rights since generations are denied, inhabitants resort to violation," he said.
Number of offences and arrests
Forest Act 1927 (offences: 134; arrests: 217)
Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (offences: 15; arrests: 19)
Environmental Protection Act 1986 (offences: 1; arrests: 2)
---State tally ---
Uttar Pradesh 1,597
Himachal Pradesh 150