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| Last Updated:: 05/02/2018

MoEF sets new norms to deal with misuse of forest land










Noting that there are inconsistencies in dealing with cases of Forest Conservation (FC) Act, 1980, violations wherein forest land is used for non-forest purposes, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has come out specific norms. 



The norms classify violations in four categories: absence of prior approvals, beginning work during appraisal of a project, violating conditions stipulated in a forest clearance, and change of forest land status in government records. 



Under these norms, officials and companies can face prosecution as well as a monetary penalty, depending on the nature of violations. 



The FC Act mandates that government and private agencies apply for clearance for use of forest land for non-forestry purposes. Cases relating to land above 40 hectares are dealt by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), the ministry's apex statutory body on forest clearances, while those below 40 hectares are cleared by regional committees. 



Last year, the FAC noted that regional committees and FAC itself were inconsistent in taking action against violators. The monetary penalty imposed was not based on any specific guidelines, it said. 








Source: DNA