By Accommodation Times Bureau
The Centre for Science and Environment has done a study on environment and forest clearance. The said study has analyzed forest diversion for development projects including mining. As per the report of the said study released in September 2011, Central Government accorded approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of 1,48,860 Ha of forest land for mining purpose since enactment of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 since enactment of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
Control of illegal mining and deforestation is mainly the responsibility of the concerned State/Union Territory Governments. Ministry of Environment and Forests however provides financial assistance under various Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes to strengthen and upgrade the State Forest Department to prevent illegal mining and deforestation activities in forest areas.
To mitigate impacts on flora and fauna, Central Government while according approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for mining stipulates appropriate conditions. Important among these conditions are transfer and mutation of equivalent non-forest land in favour of State Forest Department (SFD) for creation of compensatory afforestation from the funds to be provided by the user agency; notification of such non-forest land transferred in favour of the SFD as Reserved Forest/Protected Forest; realization of Net Present Value(NPV) of the diverted forest land from the user agency for execution of various activities for conservation, protection and management of forest and wildlife and realization of funds from the user agencies for preparation and execution of appropriate plans for conservation and development of wildlife in and around the forest land diverted for non-forest purposes.
The above information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan to the Parliament today.