Forest ministry formulates new norms to speed up infrastructure projects

The Ministry of Environment and Forests is coming up with a new set of rules to facilitate faster green clearances for construction of ‘linear projects’ like roads

Published: 21st October 2016 04:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2016 04:12 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Environment and Forests is coming up with a new set of rules to facilitate faster green clearances for construction of ‘linear projects’ like roads, railway tracks, transmission lines and canals in the periphery of protected areas.

The ministry has roped in the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India to compile mitigation measures practised around the world. The rules are to be presented during a two-day conference starting Friday, which will see participation of all states, a senior ministry official said.

“It will be helpful for the State forest departments for counselling the project proponents at the formulation stage itself,” he said and added it would facilitate faster decision-making.

Nearly 5 per cent of country’s geographical area is designated as protected—which covers tiger reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Construction around 10 km of the protected area is restricted, but linear projects get some relaxation.    

“As a policy and commitment to environmental stability, new projects of any kind are avoided within or near wildlife areas. However, location specificity sometimes warrants appropriate mitigation measures to counterbalance probable negative impacts,” the official added.

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