Centre warns state depts for non-compliance on 25 road projects
After the expiry of five-year deadline, the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has written to the state departments giving a month’s time to comply with the required information or else the respective department has to send fresh proposals for the road projects.dehradun Updated: Oct 11, 2017 20:31 IST
Despite online system of road clearance in Uttarakhand, 25 road projects lying with the centre for approval have expired due to non-compliance of the state departments, said officials.
After the expiry of five-year deadline, the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has written to the state departments giving a month’s time to comply with the required information or else the respective department has to send fresh proposals for the road projects. The letter was also received by the state forest department.
“If the compliance is not done within 5 years, then only a month’s time is given, following which the cases are terminated. I have received a letter from MoEFCC regarding 25 cases,” Vinod Singhal, nodal officer for forest clearance, told Hindustan Times.
The Public Works Department (PWD), one of the principal officiating agencies for road construction in Uttarakhand, was responsible for non-compliance in a large number of road projects. The drinking water supply and irrigation department followed PWD with a few cases.
The road projects outside the protected forest areas are transferred to the MoEFCC for clearance. Sources claim, since April, nearly 100 fresh cases were forwarded to the centre for approval. The centre has, however, asked for compliance in 75 cases demanding details on alleviation, funds, transects and others.
Apart from the 25 expired projects, there are 50 other road projects which are stuck in the state due to delay in formation of the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL). The roads pass within 10km range outside the protected forest areas. Forest minister Harak Singh Rawat said the file related to the board formation is lying with the chief minister’s office.
Experts said the delay in formation of SBWL is affecting the wildlife issues. “The government is insensitive towards both wildlife conservation issues as well as development-related issues. There are road projects pending for almost a year now that needs the board’s permission,” alleged an activist, requesting anonymity.
The forest minister said, “We will soon constitute the board to deliberate over conservation issues.”