EDEN IAS

Clearances of Infra Projects

UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS | ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY TAKES STEPS FOR FASTER CLEARANCES OF INFRA PROJECTS | 02ND JULY | HINDUSTAN TIMES

SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)

WHY IN THE NEWS?

Recently, rules have been issue in exercise of the powers confer under Forest for Clearances of Infra Projects (Conservation) Act, 1980 and in supersession of the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2003.

Highlights of new rules:

  • Constitution of an Advisory Committee, a regional empowered committee at each of the integrated regional offices and a screening committee at the state/Union Territory (UT) government-level.
  • The five-member committee will meet at least twice every month and will advise the state governments on projects in a time bound manner, the rules state.
  • All linear projects (roads, highways, etc), projects involving forest land up to 40 hectares and those that have project a use of forest land having a canopy density up to 0.7, irrespective of their extent for the purpose of survey, shall be examine in the Integrate Regional Office.
  • Prescribe the time frame of review for different kinds of projects.
  • All non-mining projects between 5-40 hectares must be reviews within a period of 60 days and all such mining projects within 75 days.
  • For projects involving a larger area, the committee gets some more time — 120 days for non-mining projects involving more than 100 hectares and 150 days for mining projects.
  • The process has been decentralized, giving the responsibility of considering all linear and hydel projects to integrated regional offices but all mining projects will be appraised by the central office
  • States given the responsibility of settling forest rights of forest dwellers (Forest Rights Act, 2006) and allowing diversion of forest land.
  • Those applying for diverting forest land in a hilly/mountainous state with green cover over two-thirds it’s geographical area or in a state/UT with forest cover of over one-third the geographical area will be able to take up compensatory afforestation in other states/UTs where the cover is less than 20%.

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES

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