NEW DELHI: The Environment Ministry has proposed to amend the Forest Conservation Act (FCA) to do away with the requirement of prior government approval for the development of border infrastructure on forest land, saying it causes delay in the implementation of critical projects.
The ministry has invited suggestions from states, union territories and all people concerned on the proposed amendments to the Act, within the next 15 days.
“Development of infrastructure along the international border areas is crucial for keeping our borders intact and to uphold the sovereignty of the country.
“Given the present scenario of obtaining approval for non-forestry use of forest land, many a times, strategic and security projects of national importance get delayed,” the ministry noted while proposing to exempt such projects from obtaining prior approval of the central government under the Act.
It also proposed to allow the states to permit non-forest use of forest land for implementation of such strategic and security projects that are to be completed in a given time frame.
The ministry also plans to exempt from prior government approval the lands which were acquired before 1980.