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Centre tightens norms for forest project clearance

The Centre has decided not to grant forest clearance to any project without examining the documentary evidence related to settlement of rights of affected families.

The Centre has decided not to grant forest clearance (stage-I) to any project without examining the documentary evidence related to settlement of rights of affected families.

The Forest Advisory Committee of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has made compliance to the provisions of the Forest Rights Act (FRA),2006,mandatory for seeking clearance for projects.

Him Dhara,an environment research and action group,on Thursday said the the state governments approaching the Centre for clearance would also be required to get approval from the dwellers over the proposed forest land diversions.

The state would have to submit “a letter from each of the concerned Gram Sabhas indicating that all formalities under the FRA have been carried out,and that they have given their consent to the proposed diversion and the compensatory and ameliorative measures.”

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The Union ministry’s decision comes in the wake of reports about forest land – being diverted for hydro-projects and mining – directly affecting the rights of the local communities in states like Himachal Pradesh.

The state cabinet had earlier taken a decision in March this year to implement the FRA,2006,in the non tribal areas of the state,apart from the tribal districts of Kinnaur,Lahaul and Spiti and parts of Chamba.

First published on: 27-04-2012 at 00:05 IST
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