Proposal: Strategic projects will get exemption from Forest Conservation Act
In order to complete the development work, the government always has to face a lot of trouble in acquiring forest land. If the proposal is accepted, then especially the Ministry of Railways and Roads will get the benefit.
In order to speed up the development of infrastructure on forest lands in the border areas of the country, the Union Environment Ministry has presented a draft proposal to amend the Forest Conservation Act. The ministry has sought suggestions from states, union territories and all concerned on the draft within the next 15 days.
The Ministry believes, the development of infrastructure on the international border is necessary to maintain the integrity and sovereignty of the country. In the current situation, there is a delay in the process of obtaining approval for non-forest use of forest land in projects of national importance at times, resulting in a setback for infrastructure development at important places.
Therefore, it is proposed to exempt such projects from the condition of obtaining prior approval under the Forest Conservation Act.
- Ministry of Railways and Roads will get benefit
The ministry has also proposed to allow change in land use of land acquired before 1980. Especially the Ministry of Railways and Roads will get the benefit of this.
- harsh punishment for violation
Making the provisions of punishment more stringent for violation of the Act, by bringing them in the category of non-bailable and cognizable offences, it has been proposed to be punished with imprisonment up to one year. Along with this, it has been proposed to exclude zoo, safari and forest training areas from the category of non-forest areas.