Forest committee to consider largest diversion of forestland

  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2015 00:49 IST

A day before India declares its climate action plan 2030, an environment ministry committee will consider setting up ground water contaminating ash ponds in forests areas and highest diversion of forestland in about 15 months of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance Government.

The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), mandated to examine projects for diversion of forestland under the Forest Conservation Act, will meet on Wednesday to consider 11 projects that will lead to diversion of 3,414 hectares of forestland.

On October 1, India is set to announce its climate action plan called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) with an eye to tell the world that India was following a sustainable growth path with an aim to increase the green cover.

As per the FAC agenda, the highest diversion proposed is 54% for mining projects, followed by 30% for irrigation projects and five percent for mining. Odisha leads in proposals for forest diversion followed by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The FAC has given pace to approval of projects for diversion of forestland as compared to the UPA government with over 16,000 hectares of forest allowed to be cut for different types of projects in last 15 months in over a dozen meetings.

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