BHUBANESWAR: As diversion of forest land continues to be a major hurdle in timely execution of projects, the State government on Tuesday asked different departments to make use of the latest provisions of forest laws for expeditious implementation of the critical infrastructure and development projects.
Reviewing the forest diversion proposals pending before the Forest and Environment department, Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra advised principal secretaries and secretaries of different departments to develop a software through which the forest diversion proposals could be dealt with online right from the time of initiation to the final sanction and issue of the certificates.
He said that officers of the Forest department should be properly oriented and apprised about the recent permissive provisions of the law that allow setting up of infrastructure projects and other development interventions in the forest land.
He asked the department to circulate a simplified guideline with frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers among the district and field level officers of both the forest and user departments. The department was also advised to organise a regular orientation programme of forest and revenue officers and update them about the latest position of the law regarding development of the critical socio-economic infrastructure.
Delay in diversion of forest land was the major issue flagged by project proponents at the last week meeting by Cabinet Committee on Investment Project Monitoring Group (CCI-PMG) which reviewed the progress of 29 big-ticket projects envisaging an investment of around Rs 1,29,803 crore.