Almost 42,000 hectares of forest land diverted in Odisha


,Jayajit Dash  |  Bhubaneswar  March 26, 2013 BS

Land diversion for mining, irrigation, power, roads, railways, industries & defence

Forest land to the tune of 41,891.25 hectares (or 1,03,515.53 acres) has been diverted in Odisha till March 6, 2013 since the enactment of Forest Conservation Act-1980 by the Centre.
The forest land diversion has been effected for various sectors like mining, irrigation, power, roads, railways, industries and defence.Almost all standalone mine lesses and industrial players with end-use projects like National Aluminium Company (Nalco) have benefited from forest land diversion in the state.

Forest land diversion has been carried out in the state in accordance with Section 2 of Forest Conservation Act, forest minister Bijayshree Routray said in a written reply in the state assembly.

On compliance to Forest Rights Act and the August 2009 notification of the Union ministry of environment & forest, he said, “The proposals submitted to the MoEF are processed in accordance with the guidelines dated August 3, 2009 issued by the ministry in the matter of compliance of Scheduled Tribes & Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act-2006.
Certificate on five terms complying to the provisions of the above circular of MoEF is submitted by the collectors of the concerned districts who head the district level committee for settlement of Forest Rights and are annexed to the forest diversion proposal while recommending the diversion proposal to the ministry. The certificates along with the resolution of the gram sabha duly signed by the members present and its English version are sent to MoEF for consideration.”

The state government is sitting over 431 proposals of forest land diversion across sectors like irrigation, industry, mining, energy, railway, roads & bridges and human habitations.

Mining sector tops the list with 205 proposals pending for diversion of forest land.

Other sectors with forest land diversion proposals in the pipeline are irrigation (27), industry (29), energy (44), railway (21), roads & bridges (37), human habitations (2) and miscellaneous (66).

It may be noted that mining activity alone has resulted in diversion of 8,194.86 hectares (or 20,249.94 acres) of forest land in Keonjhar district.

 

Orissa diverts 12,000 hectares of forest land for Mining industries


BS Reporter / Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar Mar 21, 2012

Close to 12000 hectares of forest land have been diverted in the state in the past 10 years for mining activities and also to make way for industries in sectors like steel, aluminium, power and petroleum refining.

While mining activities have taken the lion’s share of the forest land (10,182 hectares), 1749.02 hectares have been diverted for industrial projects.

Forest land in the state has been diverted for as many as 90 miners during 2001-11, including Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC), Ferro Alloys Corporation (Facor), Tata Steel, Rungta Mines Ltd, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd KJS Ahluwalia and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) to name a few.

The industries for whom forest land has been diverted are JSPL (168.32 hectares) for its integrated steel & power complex at Angul, Posco India (1252.22 hectares) for its 12 million tonne per annum steel mill in Jagatsinghpur district, Aditya Aluminium Ltd (119.26 hectares) for its aluminium smelter and captive power plant at Sambalpur and Bhusan Steel & Power Ltd (61.48 hectares) for its integrated steel plant in Angul district to name a few.

Of the 11082.3 hectares of area to be taken up for compensatory afforestation, 7727.63 hectares have already been covered.

However, the pace of compensatory afforestation taken up by industrial players has been comparatively slower.

Only 157.89 hectares have been taken up for compensatory afforestation so far out of 1806.78 hectares mandated for these industrial projects in lieu of forest land diverted.

It may be noted that the Orissa government had presented a Rs 325 crore, five-year Action Plan to the Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

The additional Action Plan aims at enhancing forest protection on the joint forest management mode. The joint forest management mode envisages active involvement and participation of people for protection and enrichment of forest through Vana Sanrakshyana Samities (VSS).

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