A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE
Under the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 the Central Government accords prior approval for diversion of forest land non-forest purpose including mining activities. So far, about 1,34,307 ha. forest land has been diverted for mining activities. Keeping in view the specific nature of each mining project, the Central Government stipulates certain project specific conditions in addition to the standard terms and conditions, wherever required, in the interest of conservation, protection or development of forests, wildlife and environment to mitigate the specific adverse impact(s) likely to arise from such mining project on flora, fauna and environment etc. State-wise details of the forest land diverted for mining purpose along with the standard terms and conditions stipulated by the Central Government while according permission for its diversion is annexed.
Primary responsibility to ensure compliance to the stipulated conditions lies with the State/UT Governments concerned. However, the Regional Offices of the Ministry of Environment & Forests located at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar and Shillong undertake periodic inspections of the mining projects located in the forest areas within their jurisdiction. So far, compliance to the stipulated conditions, by and large, has been found to be satisfactory.
- A. State/UT-wise Details of the Prior Approval Accorded by the Central Government Under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for Diversion of Forest Land For Mining Activities (As on 01.03.2011)
|Sl. No||State/ UT||Approvals Accorded|
|No. of Cases||Area (ha.)|
|1||Andaman & Nicobar Island||08||19.59|
|8||Dadra & Nagar Haveli||0||0.00|
|9||Daman & Diu||0||0.00|
|15||Jammu & Kashmir||0||0.00|
- B. Standard Terms and Conditions stipulated by the Central Government while according prior permission for diversion of forest land for mining activities
B.1. General Conditions Applicable to all projects including the mining Projects
(i) Legal status of forest land to remain unchanged.
(ii) Compensatory afforestation as per guidelines.
(iii) Transfer and mutation of non-forest land in favour of Forest Department, if applicable.
(iv) Notification of such land as Reserved Forest/Protected Forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
(v) User Agency to provide fuelwood preferably alternate fuel to the labourers and the staff working at the site so as to avoid any damage & pressure on adjacent forest areas.
(vi) The forest land shall not be used for any purpose other than that specified in the proposals.
(vii) Demarcation of lease area to be done on the ground at project cost using four feet high reinforced cement concrete pillars with serial numbers, forward & back bearings and distance from pillar to pillar.
(viii) Rehabilitation of Project affected families, if any.
(ix) Environmental clearance, if required.
B.2: Conditions applicable only to the mining projects
(i) Phased reclamation of mined area.
(ii) Safety zone area, its afforestation and fencing.
(iii) Afforestation on one and half times degraded forest land in lieu of the area used for safety zone.
(iv) In case of underground mines, areas on surface to be fencing and afforested.
B.3. Additional conditions applicable to large projects involving diversion of more than 500 ha. forest land or displacement of more than 1,000 persons irrespective of the area of forest land involved in each case (applicable only to the projects accorded approval on or after 04.01.2011)
(i) The user agency shall establish and operate a Vocational Training Institute having capacity to impart training in at-least five disciplines, to be decided by the State Government concerned in consultation with the user agency, for the benefits of the eligible unemployed youth in the project affected villages. The user agency should also endeavour to employ such trained manpower in their own industry or any other appropriate industry, preferably located in vicinity of the forest land being diverted; and
The user agency shall setup an independent Social Welfare Department/ Division and follow the subsequent condition of the project-affected and the project-displaced persons in such a way as to understand their socio-economic conditions before and after the project and take such corrective measures as are necessary to restore them to their original or better-than-original condition.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (I/C) Shri Jairam Ramesh in a written reply to a question by Shri S/Shri Narahari Mahato And Nripendra Nath Roy in Lok Sabha today.
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