Forest clearance process for land up to 40 ha eased in Himachal

Nod to be given within state | Bottleneck for development projects removed

Forest clearance process for land up to 40 ha eased in Himachal

Rakesh Pathania, Minister for Forests and Youth Affairs. File photo

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, July 25

In a major relief to the state government, the clearance for conversion of forest land for other purpose would be done within the state. This could speed up many development projects in the state that have been lingering for want for permission for clearance of forest land for other purposes.

The Minister for Forests and Youth Affairs, Rakesh Pathania, who was in Dharamsala today, while talking to The Tribune, said that the Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change in an order issued recently has declared the office for Region Director Forest Survey of India, Shimla, as Integrated Regional office of the ministry. This means that all clearances for conversion of forest land up to 40 hectares for other developmental purposes would now be given at the state level.

Nodal office now in Shimla

  • The office for Region Director Forest Survey of India, Shimla, has been declared as Integrated Regional Office of the ministry
  • This means all clearances for conversion of forest land up to 40 hectares for other purposes will now be given at the state level
  • Projects in various parts of the state have been struck for want of permission for conversion of forest land for other purposes
  • With the nodal office for conversion of forest land up to 40 hectares now being located in Shimla, the clearances will come in time

The minister said that a large number of development projects in various parts of the state, including construction of hospitals, schools, colleges and rural roads, have been struck for want of permission for conversion of small portions of forest land for other purposes. With the nodal office for conversion of forest land up to 40 hectares now being located in Shimla the clearances would come in time and development projects would take off, he said.

When asked about the forest clearance for conversion of forest land for bringing up campus of Central University Himachal Pradesh (CUHP) at Jadrangal, Pathania said the case was being processed and land for university campus at Dharamsala would be allotted soon.

The CUHP was biggest projects in Kangra district that has been lingering for want of conversion of forest land for development of its campus for the past about 10 years.

Now the forest land at Dehra has been converted into the name of CUHP but the case for transfer of forest land at Dharamsala was still lingering.

Himachal Pradesh faces problem for availability of land for development projects as almost the entire common land in the state was classified as forest land in 1970s. Major problem that Himachal Pradesh now faces is in developing housing and industrial sector. The Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) was not finding any land for developing of planned colonies in the entire state.

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