Rules & Guidelines amended after 25/10/1992

 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN
CGO COMPLEX, LODHI ROAD
NEW DELHI - 110 003

NO. 11-29/94-FC/1070                                                    Dated: 18-08-1994

To,
The Chief Secretary

Government of Rajasthan
Jaipur

Subject: Grant/Renewal of mining leases in forest area under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

Sir,

This Ministry has received number of representations from various quarters regarding alleged delays taking place in grant/renewal of mining leases in Rajasthan under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. A meeting was held by Minister, Environment & FOrests on 15.7.1993 and subsequently on 27.8.1993 to discuss various problems being faced by mining industry in Rajasthan in which State Government officials, representatives of mining industry and non Government Organisations were invited. This issue was also discussed at length by officials of this Ministry with State Government officials as well as representatives of the mining industry at Jaipur.

2.       After careful examination of the issues involved, the following line of action has been decided.

i)                   For small mines, instead of sending individual proposals, proposals for clusters of mines in a particular district or tehsil may be prepared by the State Government.

ii)                 If forest area to be broken up afresh in respect of individual mines in a proposal for a cluster of mines is upto 1 ha. no compensatory afforestation over equivalent non-forest land would be required. However, if the forest area in a block application contains more than 60% of its area under mining leases. Forest Department should critically examine the feasibility of retaining the balance area with it from the management point of view. If it is not possible to properly manage such areas as forests. State Government may consider sending the proposal for dereservation/diversion for entire block of forest area. In such cases relevant conditions of compensatory afforestation shall be applicable.

iii)               If the area of the individual mines in the proposal for a cluster of mines is upto 20 ha. each, cost benefit analysis will not be insisted upon.

iv)               In respect of areas already broken up (including areas already utilized for roads, over burden dumping, statutory buildings, mineral dumping and sheds etc.) no compensatory afforestation will be insisted upon. However, in respect of mines where renewal/grant of lease has been done without obtaining prior approval of the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the area to be broken up shall be calculated with respect to the situation existing as on the day on which such leases have been renewed/granted irregularly after 25.10.1980, i.e. areas broken up/used without obtaining prior approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 after 25.10.1980 shall be deemed to be unbroken areas for the purpose of deciding compensatory afforestation.

v)                 Specific clearance from Pollution Control Board is not required for deciding cases under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

vi)               Instead of dealing with individual cases, the State Government may consider categorizing renewal cases in different categories on the basis of type of violation which has taken place. Leases granted/renewed after 25.10.1980 on specific order of Court of Law can form one category. Cases in which renewal/fresh lease has been granted on the basis of certain discrepancies in the boundary demarcation between forest land and non-forest land can form another category. Similarly, cases in which leases have been granted/renewed due to mis-interpretation of rules/administrative instructions of the State Government can from another category.

Detailed report may be sent separately by the State Government dealing with different types of cases where leases have been granted/ renewed after 25.10.1980 without obtaining prior approval of the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act. A policy decision in respect of each category of violation will be taken by the Central Government and individual cases will be decided on the basis of decision taken for each category of violation.

vii)             A mutually agreed time bound programme shall be drawn up for the entire process of preparation of proposals, examination and decision.

viii)           The proposals may be prepared in two sets by the State Government. One set may be sent to the Ministry of Environment & Forests at Delhi, another set to the Regional Chief Conservator of Forests, Lucknow. Standing instructions are being issued to the Regional Chief Conservator of Forests, Lucknow to carry out site inspection of the proposal involving more than 40 ha. forest land. All proposals upto 20 ha. shall be immediately placed before the State Advisory Group for examination and recommendations. Proposals above 20 ha. will be placed at the earliest before Forest Advisory Committee. If needed, separate meetings of the Advisory Committee may be convened by the Ministry for this purpose.

ix)               State Government may consider constitution of a committee consisting of representatives from Mines Department, Forest Department and Federation of Mines Association of Rajasthan, and representatives of Ministry of Environment & Forests.

x)                 Environment clearance for mining of major minerals with lease areas more than 5 ha. will be obtained as provided under EIA Notification dated 27.1.1994 (amended on 4.5.1994). However, Environmental clearance will not be required at the time of renewal of (a)if there is no increase in the originally sanctioned lease area & (b) if the lease area does not exceed 5 ha. even after expansion, except in the areas covered under Aravalli Notification of 7.5.1992.

3.       You are kindly requested to ensure immediate action for preparation, processing and examination of proposals for grant/ renewal of mining leases under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Yours faithfully,

       sd/-

(ALOK JAIN)
JOINT SECRETARY

Copy to:

1.         Principal Secretary (Forest), Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

2.                 Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Rajasthan, Jaipur.

3.                 Secretary, Deptt. of MInes, Rajasthan, Jaipur.

4.                 Regional CCF, Lucknow. He is requested to carry out site inspection of all mining cases in Rajasthan involving diversion of forest land above 40 ha. as & when the same are received from the State Government.

5.                 PS to MEF

6.                 PPS to Secretary/PPS to IGF.

7.                 Addl. IGF/AS(B)

8.                 DIG(FC)/AIG(FC-I)/AIG (RO HQ).

sd/-
(ALOK JAIN)
JOINT SECRETARY

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No. 5-5/86-FC

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003

                                                                              Dated: 25-11-1994

 To,
         
The Chief Secretary
         
(All States/UTs)

Subject:       Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

 Sir,

Detailed guidelines for submission of proposal for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued vide this Ministry's letter of even number dated 23.6.1989. To further streamline and decentralise examination of proposals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, revised consolidated guidelines had been prepared on 25.10.1992. A review of the existing guidelines have been done and accordingly, following modifications in the procedure for processing of  the proposals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 have been made in the guidelines of 25.10.92.

I.                   Particulars to be Furnished alongwith the Proposal.

In para 2.w for sub para (iv), following shall be substituted, namely.

"(iv) The user agency shall submit the proposal for renewal of mining lease to the Forest Department one year prior to date of expiry of existing lease, failing which the proposal may be liable for rejection. The State Government shall send the complete proposal to the MOEF at least 6 months prior to the expiry of the existing lease. In case of any delay, a detailed report elaborating the cause of delay shall be sent along with the proposal".

II.                Proposals Requiring Clearance from Environmental Angle in para 2.3.

(a)              for sub para (i), following shall be substituted, namely,

"(i)     The projects covered under notifications issued from time to time under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, shall require clearance separately from environmental angle, as per procedure laid down by the environment Wing of the MOEF. Environmental clearance where required should be applied for separately and simultaneously".

(b)             For sub para (iii), following shall be substituted.

"(iii) For projects requiring clearance form forest as well as environment angles, separate communications of sanction will be issued, and the project would be deemed to be cleared only after clearance from both angles".

III.             Land for compensatory Afforestation

In para 3.2 for sub (vii) (d), following shall be substituted, namely:

"Cases of renewal of mining lease, for the forest area already broken/used for mining dumping of overburden, construction of roads, ropeways, buildings etc. For the balance area, compensatory afforestation shall be required to be done as stipulated, provided that no compensatory afforestation had been stipulated and done in respect of this area at the time of grant/renewal of lease earlier".

IV.            Lease Period for Mining Lease.

In chapter 4, after para 4.15, following shall be inserted, namely:

"4.16. The approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for grant/renewal of mining leases shall normally be granted for a period co-terminus with the period of mining lease proposed to be granted/ renewed under MMRD Act, 1957 or Rules framed thereunder, but not exceeding 30 years. While recommending cases for approval under the FC Act, the User Agency/State Government shall indicate the period for which the mining lease is proposed to be granted/renewed under MMRD Act or Rules framed thereunder. However, in the even of non compliance of stipulations to the satisfaction of the MOEF, the clearance accorded may be summarily withdrawn".

V.               Renewal of Mining Lease - Temporary Working Permission.

In chapter 4, after para 4.16, following shall be inserted, namely:

"4.17  In respect of renewal of mining lease, temporary working permission may be granted by the Central Government to continue working in already broken up area upto maximum period of one year, even without formal approval for the renewal, provided:

(a)      The user agency has submitted the required proposal with complete details to the Forest Department at least one year prior to the expiry of existing lease period.

(b)     The State Government has sent the Formal proposal to the Central Government for renewal of mining lease prior to the expiry of the existing lease, alongwith particulars and reports as are required to be furnished in the normal course of renewal.

(c)     The temporary working permission will be confined to areas already broken up prior to the expiry of the lease, and no fresh area will be broken up until formal renewal is granted.

          These amendments will come into force with effect from 25.10.1994.

Yours faithfully,
       
sd/-
(ALOK JAIN)

Joint Secretary to the Government of India

Copy to:

1.       Secretary (Forests) of All States/UTs.

2.                 Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, All States/UTs.

3.                 All CCFs (Central), Regional Offices/

4.                 Secretaries to all Ministers of Govt. of India.

5.                 Cabinet Secretary, Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.

6.                 Prime Minister's Office, South Block, New Delhi.

7.                 All Divisional Heads in the Ministry of E&F.

8.                 Department of Coal, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

9.                 Department of Mines, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

10.             PPS to Secretary (E&F)/PPS to IGF/PS to Addl. IGF(FC)/ PS to Addl. IGF (WL)/ DIG (FC)/ AIG(FC)/US(FC)/AIG (RO,HQ).

11.             PS to Addl. Secretaries.

12.             Guard File.

sd/-
(ALOK JAIN)
Joint Secretary to the Government of India

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-VIII

 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN
CGO COMPLEX, LODHI ROAD
NEW DELHI - 110 003

NO.11-9/99-FC                                                                                               Dated: 7.1.1997

 To
         
The Secretary (Forests),
         
All States

Sub:   Use of forest land for field firing ranges by Indian Army.

Sir,

I am directed to inform that after discussing the issue of use of forest land for field firing ranges on notification basis with the Ministry of Defence, it has been decided that the following guidelines may be followed while formulating the proposals under the Forest (Conservation Act, 1980 in this regard:

(i)                In all such cases, the legal status of forest land shall remain unchanged.

(ii)              Forest area involved will remain in possession of the State Forest Department and only its temporary use will be permitted as and when practice is required to be carried out by Army authorities.

(iii)            Compensatory afforestation will be insisted over degraded forest land equivalent in extent to the 10% of forest area of field firing range.

(iv)            Army authorities will permitted to pay the cost of compensatory afforestation to the concerned State Forest Department in a phased manner, say 5-10 years.

(v)              The condition of compensatory afforestation would be one time affair in respect of particular field firing range.

(vi)            The State Govt. will, however, be free to realise the compensation for damage caused, if any, during the field firing practices as per norms of the State Government.

(vii)          The notification of an area of field firing range should preferably be proposed for a period of 10 years.

Yours faithfully,
        
sd/-
(A.N. SHARAN)
ASSTT. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS

 

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ANNEXURE-IX

C.P. OBERAI

INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS &
SPECIAL SECRETARY
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

No.11-30/96-FC

April 10, 1997

Dear Shri

As you are well aware, there have been difficulties and delays in identifying non-forest lands for raising compensatory afforestation under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Our preferred option has been to carry out afforestation over non-forest area equivalent to forest area being diverted. Howoever, in case of non-availability of non-forest land, as certified by the respective Chief Secretaries, compensatory afforestation over degraded forest land twice in extent of area being diverted has been provided for.

2.       Over a period of time, it has been observed that many important development projects in the central sector, which are of vital national importance, either get delayed, or remain a non-starter, due to delay in identifying and transferring suitable equivalent non-forest land to the concerned Forest Department. Be that as it may, it has also resulted in severe criticism of the Ministry as being instrumental in delaying such projects, resulting in cost and time escalations of the projects.

3.       The issue was considered recently in the Committee of Secretaries (COS), Govt. of India, who have inter alia recommended that to avoid such delays in central sector projects, diversion of forest land may be permitted against compensatory afforestation on double the degraded land in the first instance.

4.       After giving considerable and careful thought to the recommendations, the Ministry has decided to insert para 3.2 (viii) in the existing guidelines for central projects. The preamble alongwith a copy of the additional guideline is enclosed for ready reference and further necessary action at your end.

5.       The Government of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have indicated their willingness to create a "degraded forest plantation bank" which can be even availed of by the proponents of the central sector projects in other states, if the State Governments, where such projects are sited, cannot undertake the compensatory afforestation within their own forest areas.

6.       Keeping in view the revised guidelines, I request you to henceforth submit the proposals for central sector projects providing for compensatory afforestation on double the degraded land without insisting upon a certificate from the State Chief Secretaries as hithertofore. In case, you find it difficult to locate suitable degraded forest land for compensatory afforestation for such central projects within the time frame, this may kindly be indicated in the body of the proposal itself. In such exigencies, the Ministry will allot areas for compensatory afforestation in degraded forest land bank already identified in either of the States of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as per the cost norms indicated by the concerned government from time to time.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

         sd/-

(C.P. OBERAI)

 

Encl.: as above

 

To Forest Secretaries of States/UTS

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Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi - 110 003

No.5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                                            Dated 18.02.1997

To,
The Secretary (Forests),
All States/UTs.

Sub:   Guidelines for implementation of Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 1988.

Sir,

The Ministry has received many queries after the interim order was issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court on 12th December, 1996 in the matter of WP (Civil) No.202 of 1995, regarding the applicability of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 on the leases which were granted prior to 1980 and the lease period is still continuing. In this connection, I am directed to invite your attention to Annexure III of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 Rules and Guidelines as amended on 25th October, 1992, issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. It will be seen that sub-para (i) of the Annexure III clearly states that in respect of the mining operations being carried out on forest land leased before the commencement of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 during the continuance of the lease period, the approval of the Central Govt. under Section 2 of the said Act is not required.

2.       However, to settle the doubt, if any, the opinion of the Attorney General of India was solicited. A copy of the opinion given by the Attorney General of India on this issue is enclosed for information. It is requested that appropriate action may be taken in the light of the opinion given by the Attorney General of India.

Yours faithfully,

         sd/-

(A.N. PRASAD)

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
IN THE MATTER OF
ORDER OF THE HON'BLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
DATED 12TH DECEMBER, 1996
IN W.P. (C) NO.202/1995
T.N. GODAVARMAN THIRUMULKPAD

VS

UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

OPINION

1.       The order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is consistent with and requires enforcement of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. In the judgement of State of Bihar Vs. Bansi Ram Modi 1985 (3) SCC 643, the Court held that permission under Section 2 of the Act was not required if there was no question of fresh breaking up of forest land. That judgement was distinguished in Ambika Quarry works & Ors. vs. State of Gujarat & Ors. 1987 (1) SCC 213, and Rural Litigation and entitlement Kendra vs. State of U.P. 1980 Supp. (1) SCC 504 wherein the issue of renewal of a lease and not of working the original original lease.

2.       The result of the various decisions of the court is as follows:-

1.     Permission under the Act is not required if the lease was granted prior to 25th October, 1980 and has not yet come to an end.

2.     Permission under the Act is required for any lease granted or renewed after 25th October, 1980 if the Act otherwise applies.

3.     The Act would apply if the use is in accordance with the explanation to Section 2 namely "for breaking up or clearing any forest land or portion thereof".

3.       The judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court does not depart from this and does not impose any condition inconsisted with that required under the Act. Thus, if the lease for mining is granted prior to 1980 and still continues (without any renewal), the Act does not apply. Similarly, if any activity is undertaken which does not involve breaking up or clearing of any forest land, permission under the Act is not required. In all other cases, the party must approach the State Government which in turn would approach the Central Government under the Act.

4.       In light of this legal position, a review of the order is not called for since the order does not suffer from any legal infirmity. Any breaking up or clearing any forest land requires permission under the Act unless it is under an existing lease granted prior to 1980. If there is any doubt, clarification may be sought from the Supreme Court particularly since the order is only interim in nature. I do not find any grounds for any review on this issue. Further it would be preferable if the State government concerned seeks the clarification giving specific facts and figures demonstrating the adverse impact on it.

      sd/-

(ASHOK H. DESAI)
Attorney General of India
New Delhi, January 15, 1997

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No. 4-2/88-FC(PT)                                                                                                   22-8-97

To,
Secretary (Forests)
All States

Sub:-  Regarding Re-opening of proposals closed under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 - Sarkaria Commission Recommendation No.15.01.01

Sir,

          Sarkaria Commission on Inter-State Relations has made the following recommendations:-

Para 15.5.01          In view of a large number of cases referred under Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 having been closed there is need for reviewing them to identify the reasons. A senior officer of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and  Wildlife should examine all such cases which have been disposed off as closed identify the reasons and inform the States. Cases which are required to be followed by the States should be reopened and decided on their merits after discussion withthe representatives of the concerned State Govts.

2.       This Ministry has accepted this recommendation. Accordingly, it is being informed that all such cases which are declared closed as per existing guidelines of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, for want of requisite information from the State Governments can be re-opened on the specific request of the States. You are therefore advised to furnish the requisite details within 60 days from the date of issue of this letter to the concerned Regional Offices of the Ministry so that a final decision is taken on merit after discussing these proposals with the representative of the concerned State Governments.

Yours faithfully,

        sd/-

(A.N. Prasad)
Deputy Inspector General of Forests (FC)

Copy to CCF(FC), All Regional Offices (for information & necessary action as indicated above)

        sd/-

(A.N. Prasad)
Deputy Inspector General of Forests (FC)

------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-XIII

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No. 5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                         Dated: 12th December, 1997

 To,
Chief Secretary
All States/UTs

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

Sir,

A detailed consolidated guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued vide letter of even no. dated 25.10.92. Certain amendments to these guidelines were subsequently issued on 25.11.94. After further review it has been decided to add para 4.16 (ii) after the para 4.16 of the guidelines issued on 25.11.94.

4.16(ii)         The conditions stipulated while giving approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion/renewal of forest land for mining purposes shall be renewed/monitored every five years. If it is found that the lessee has violated or is not complying with the stipulated conditions, then the approval given under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 shall be revoked. Concerned Chief Conservators of Forests (C), Regional Offices of the Ministry will issue a certificate regarding fulfillment of these conditions after carrying out the monitoring. These guidelines shall be applicable retrospectively for all the mining leases which have more than five years of lease period left.

Yours faithfully,

           sd/-

(R.K. CHAUDHRY)
Asstt. Inspector General Forests

------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-XIV

No.4-1/97-FC

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhavan, C.G.O. Complex
Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

                                                                                          Dated: 18.02.1998

 To
Secretary (Forests),
All States/UTs.

Sub:-  Regarding revised guidelines for applicability of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 on liner plantations for widening/modernisation.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to Para 2.5 of the existing guidelines issued under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land widening/expansion of roads, rail lines and canals. After careful consideration, and taking into account the difficulty faced by the concerned departments for undertaking widening/modernisation on lands primarily acquired by these departments for these purposes, the Ministry has decided to substitute the existing Para 2.5 with the new guideline as enclosed.

Yours faithfully,

           sd/-

(R.K. CHAUDHRY)
ASSTT. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS

Encl: As above

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Applicability of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

on linear plantations for widening / modernization

This Ministry has been receiving large number of proposals under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which pertain to widening/expansion of roadsides/ railsides/canalsides. Large scale plantations along these linear strips have been taken up by different state governments under social forestry and other programmes. In order to have a better control and management of these linear patches in many places these have been notified as protected forests. Recently, the Union Cabinet has taken decision that in case of widening/ modernisation of existing roads, forest and environmental clearance should not be required.

The main spirit behind Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 is conservation of natural forests whereas most of the linear plantations have been done on the land belonging to either Road or Irrigation or to the Railway Department using ornamental and shard bearing trees. According to the definition of "forests" by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, these plantations could come under the purview of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. There are certain statutory provisions under the Rules and Guidelines, which have to be followed for granting approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Of late there has been a spurt of activity in improving infrastructure. A delay in granting clearance/approval under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 would lead to time and cost escalation.

Keeping this preamble in view the following guidelines are, therefore, promulgated with immediate effect which will substitute the existing provision in para 2.5 of the guidelines as under:-

Para 2.5

(i)                Such lands which had been acquired by Government Departments like Railway, Irrigation, PWD, etc. for specific purposes like laying of roads, railway lines and canals and the vacant area was planted up with trees and these lands are not yet notified as protected forests will not attract the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for the purposes of widening or expansion or re-alignment. However, the concerned agency will seek permission under local laws, if any, from appropriate authority.

(ii)              Such lands which were acquired by the above departments and the vacant areas were subsequently planted and notified as protected forests for management purpose will need approval from the Central Government under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The user agency will submit the proposal in the prescribed format through the State Forest Department to the concerned Regional Office of the Ministry. The Regional Offices shall be competent to finally dispose of all such proposals irrespective of the area, preferably within 30 days from the date of receipt of the proposal. While issuing  the approval in place of normal provision for compensatory afforestation, the Regional Offices will stipulate a condition that for every tree cut at least two trees should be planted.

(iii)            However, if the decision is not ordered by the concerned Regional Office within 30 days of the receipt of fully completed application, the Central Government/State may proceed with the widening/modernisation under intimation to the local State Forest Department and Central Government.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No. 8-79/91-FC                                                                                Dated: 15th April, 1998

 To,
Chief Conservator of Foreosts(C)
All Regional Offices

Sub:   Guidelines on monitoring of conditions of mining cases.

Sir,

In respect of the mining cases on forest land approved by the Ministry under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, I am directed to convey that the Regional Office will monitor the main parametres/conditions of formal approval as frequently as possible at least once in a year. At least once in five years a comprehensive monitoring as to the effect of mining on air and water pollution will also be carried out. Regional Offices should send such reports/certificates in respect of the monitoring mechanism indicated above to this Ministry, so that a view can be taken on continuation of mining lease beyond five years.

Yours faithfully,

            sd/-

(R.K. CHAUDHRY)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-XVI

 Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No. 11-9/98-FC                                                                                          Dated: 23.7.1998

To,
The Secretary (Forests)
(All States/UTs)

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

Detailed guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 have been prepared on 25.10.1992 and issued to all the State Governments. A review of these guidelines have also been done from time to time. After a recent review, the Ministry has decided to modify the following two existing paras of the guidelines as under:

2.4             Simplified Procedure for Certain Categories of proposals.

i)                   In respect of proposals for laying of transmission lines, pipelines for drinking water supply, laying of telephone/optical fibre lines and exploratory drilling for prospecting of oil which do not involve any felling or cutting of trees only the following particulars may be furnished in the prescribed form:

a)                 Map of the area required alongwith geographical location of the project.

b)                Purpose for which forest land is required to be used.

c)                 Extent of forest area to be diverted.

d)                Whether forest land forms part of national park wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or forms part of the habitat of any endangered or threatened species of flora and fauna.

e)                 Legal status of forest land.

f)                  Whether no alternative alignment is possible to avoid or minimise use of forest land and, whether, the required forest area is the minimum needed for the purpose. A certificate in this regard is to be furnished by the concerned Divisional Forest Officer after personal inspection of the spot.

g)                 Compensatory afforestation scheme.

h)                 A certificate stating specifically that no cutting or felling of tree is involved.

ii)                 Other cases involving forest area upto 2 ha. which are devoid of tree cover, may also be dealt with as per above simplified procedure except for proposals for mining and regularisation of encroachments.

3.2             Land for Compensatory Afforestation.

vi)               As an exception of 3.2 (i) above, compensatory afforestation may be raised over degraded forest land twice in extent of the forest area being diverted/dereserved in respect of following types of proposals:

a)                 as already existing

b)                        - do -

c)                         -do-

d)                        -do-

e)                         -do-

f)                  laying of telephone/optical fibre lines.

 

Yours faithfully,

           sd/-

(R.K. CHAUDHRY)
ASSTT. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-XVII

M.K. SHARMA
ADDL. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS

 

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No.8c/5/574/98-FCW                                                                                      October 22,1998

Dear

1. This has reference to the mining proposals received from the Regional Offices after discussing in the State Advisory Group meetings. In a number of cases it has been observed that the proposals for grant of fresh mining leases in forest land have also been recommended by CCFs(C)/SAGs.

2.       As you are aware that any mining activity on forest land causes the maximum damage to the area and its surroundings. It would be desirable not to permit this activity unless it becomes inescapable for extraction of some rare minerals needed for overall interest/security of the country. Therefore, this should be discouraged.

Yours sincerely,

          Sd/-

(M.K. SHARMA)

CCFs(C)

All Regional Offices (By name)

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------


Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi - 110 003

No.5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                                       Dated 30.10.1998

 To
The Chief Secretary

All States/UTs

 Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

The detailed consolidated guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued vide letter of even no. dated 25.10.1992. Certain amendments to these guidelines were issued subsequently from time to time. After further review it has been decided to add Para 4.18 to the guideline issued on 12th December, 1997 :-

"4.18  In respect of proposals related to renewal of mining leases, the Central Government would grant one year working permission for already broken up areas so as to enable the State Government to comply with the conditions. This period can be extended by one more year subject to submission of reasonable progress report from the State Government as regards to the steps taken to comply with the stipulated conditions".

Yours faithfully,

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

Copy to:

1.       Secretary (Forests) of all States/UTs.

2.                 Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, All States/UTs.

3.                 All CCFs (Central), Regional Offices.

4.                 Secretaries to all Ministries of Govt. of India.

5.                 Cabinet Secretary, Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.

6.                 Prime Minister's Office, South Block, New Delhi.

7.                 All Divisional Heads in the M/o Eng. & Forests.

8.                 Department of Coal, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

9.                 Department of Mines, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

10.             PPS t Secretary (E&F)/PPS t IGF/PS to Addl. IGF(FC)/ PS to Addl. IGF(WL)/ DIG(FC)/AIG(FC)/AIG(RO,HQ)

11.             PS to Addl. Secretaries.

12.             Guard File.

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-XVIII

 

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi - 110 003

No.5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                                        Dated 30.10.1998

To

The Chief Secretary
All States/UTs

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

As per the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 the Rules and Guidelines, all proposals involving diversion/dereservation of forest land upto 20 ha. are being sent by State/UT to the concerned Regional Office or Ministry of Environment & Forests and proposals involving more than 20 ha. are directly sent to Ministry at Delhi. Regional Offices conduct site inspection of proposal involving more than 40 ha. forest land and send report to Ministry for further processing. It has been observed that for proposals involving areas between 20 ha. to 40 ha. Regional Offices have also been requested from time to time to conduct site inspection.

In order to cut short the delays, the State Govts. /UTs are advised to send a copy of all proposals (irrespective of area) also to the concerned Regional Office. It is also requested to mention "Attention - FC Division" on covering letter as well as on envelope through which proposals are being sent to Secretary to Govt. of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi.

 

Yours faithfully,

         sd/-

(V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANNEXURE-XIX

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No.5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                                       Dated 30.10.1998

To

The Chief Secretary
All States/UTs

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

Sir,

The detailed consolidated guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued vide letter of even no. dated 25.10.92. Certain amendments to these guidelines were issued subsequently from time to time. After further review it has been decided to add Para 4.18 to the guidelines issued to 12th December, 1997 :

4.18   In respect of proposals related to renewal of mining leases, the Central Government would grant one year working permission for already broken up areas so as to enable the State Government to comply with the conditions. This period can be extended by one more year subject to submission of reasonable progress report from the State Government as regards to the steps taken to comply with the stipulated conditions".

  

Yours faithfully,

         Sd/-

(V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

 No.11-9/86-FC                                                                                               Dated 4.12.1998

To

The Secretary (Forests)
All States & Union Territories

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 that are part of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Sir,

This Ministry has already circulated detailed consolidated guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Ministry has taken a decision not to permit development activities inside National Park/ Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserve areas that are not in consonance of section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

The Ministry has been receiving proposals from various States and Union Territories for permission to use forest land for non-forestry uses even in such areas. It is suggested that States and Union Territories should avoid recommending use of forest areas inside sanctuaries, national parks and project tiger areas for non forest purposes. Wherever it is inescapable, the State Govt. is advised first to get consent of Indian Board of Wildlife for getting approval of the State Legislature for denotification of the area as sanctuary. Only after receiving the clearance from concerned Board, the proposal under F(C) Act, 1980 may be submitted to Central Government for consideration. The proposals which are received without the approval as mentioned above shall not be considered for clearance under F(C) Act.

It has also been observed that in respect of certain proposals which do not involve sanctuary or national park areas but is reported to be rich in wildlife in the proposal or forms corridor for movement/migration of wild animals. It is decided that in such cases these State Govt. should furnish specific comments of Chief Wildlife Warden  on the proposal submitted under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for approval. This will avoid back reference and delay indecision can be avoided.

Yours faithfully,

 (V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

Copy to:

1.       PCCFs/Chief Wildlife Wardens/Nodal Officers of all States & Union Territories.

2.              Regional CCFs (Central) and CF (Central) for information and necessary action.

(V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No.5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                                               Dated 03.02.99

To
The Chief Secretary
All States/UTs.

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purpose under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

The detailed consolidated guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued vide letter of even no. dated 25.10.92. Certain amendments to these guidelines were issued subsequently from time to time. After further review it has been decided to modify Para 4.3 as under:-

 "4.2.1.         Cases have come to the notice of the Central Government in which permission for diversion of forest land was accorded by the concerned State Government in anticipation of approval of the Central Government under the Act and/ or where work has been carried out in forest area without proper authority. Such anticipatory action is neither proper not permissible under the Act which clearly provides for prior approval of the Central Government in all cases. Proposals seeking ex-post-facto approval of the Central Government under the Act are normally not entertained. The Central Government will not accord approval under the Act unless exceptional circumstances justify condonation. However, penal compensatory afforestation would be insisted upon by the MoEF on all such cases of condonation".

 "4.3.2.         The penal compensatory afforestation will be imposed over the area worked/ used in violation. However, where the entire area has been deforested due to anticipatory action of the State Government, the penal compensatory afforestation will be imposed over the total lease area".

 Yours faithfully,

 (V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

Copy to:

1.       Secretary (Forests) of all States/UTs.

2.                 Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, All States/UTs.

3.                 All CCFs (Central), Regional Offices.

4.                 Secretaries to all Ministries of Govt. of India.

5.                 Cabinet Secretary, Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.

6.                 Prime Minister's Office, South Block, New Delhi.

7.                 All Divisional Heads in the M/o Env. & Forests.

8.                 Department of Coal, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

9.                 Department of Mines, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

10.             PPS to Secretary (E&F)/PPS to IGF/PS to Addl. IGF(FC)/PS to Addl. IGF(WL)/DIG(FC)/AIG(FC)/AIG(RO, HQ).

11.             PS to Addl. Secretaries

12.             Guard file.

(V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003

No.5-5/86-FC(Pt)                                                                                          Dated 26.02.99

 To,
The Forest Secretary
Govt. of India

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purpose under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

 Sir,

I am directed to invite your attention to the guidelines issued under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 form time to time. It has been brought to the notice of the Central Govt. that on such issue like submission of interim replies to the clarifications, compliance report of conditions stipulated in the State-I, procedure for submitting information regarding violation of the FC Act, 1980 etc., are not very clear to the State Govt. It is, therefore, clarified that:

(i)      As far as the submission of proposal for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the FC Act, 1980 is concerned, the proposal has to be submitted by the State Govt. as per Rule 4 of the F(C) Rules, 1980 in the prescribed format.

(ii)      Para 4.15 of the existing guidelines defines the functions of the Nodal Officer. The Nodal Officer may also report compliance of State-I conditions after getting it vetted by the State Govt. wherever it is called for mainly dealing with land and fund matters.

 (iii)     The Nodal Officer may also inform violation/non-compliance of stipulations/conditions prescribed by the Central Govt. so that remedial actions could be taken up early since it is likely to be further delayed after these violations/non-compliance are to be received only from the State Govt. level. In case of gross violations, for which delay/time lag is crucial, such reports from territorial CCF/CF shall also be entertained by Government of India.

 (iv)     Ministry is receiving a large number of proposals for grant of/renewal of mining leases. As you are aware, approval for every mining lease, a mining plan has to be prepared and got approved by Indian Bureau of Mines, Nagpur. In order to take a holistic view and to justify the coumns given in column 10 of the format, it is essential that a copy of the mining plan duly approved by the IBM, Nagpur should be enclosed with the proposal alongwith map of forest area on printed original copy of Survey of India topo sheet 1:50,000 scale showing boundaries of forest area and other mining leases of forest block within that sheet.

 Yours faithfully,

 (V.B. KUMAR)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

Copy to:

1.       The PCCF, Govt. of India

2.                 The CCF(C), Regional Office.

3.                 The CF(C), Regional Office.

 

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
AIG (FC)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN
CGO COMPLEX,
LODI ROAD, NEW DELHI - 110 003

 NO. 11-29/94-FC/(Pt)                                                                August 10, 1999

 To,
The Chief Secretary
All States/U.Ts

Subject: Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purpose under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

The detailed consolidated guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued vide letter of even number dated 25.10.92.. Certain amendments to these guidelines were issued subsequently from time to time. After further review, it has been decided to insert following paragraph after the existing para of 1.8 (iii):-

"However in national parks and sanctuaries where fellings are carried for improvement of wildlife and its habitat only, forests would be managed according to a scientifically prepared management plan approved by the Chief Wildlife Warden. But in cases where large scale felling/removal of timber and non timber products is required in a national park/sanctuary, which need disposal through sales, approval of the Central Government would be necessary".

Yours faithfully,

         sd/-

(V.B. KUMAR)
ASSTT. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS

 

Copy to:-

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------


NO. 11-29/94-FC/1070

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
F.C. Division
Paryavaran Bhawan
CGO Complex, Lodi Road
New Delhi - 110 003

                                                                                                                   Dated: 16-11-99

To,
Chief Conservator of Forests(C)
Regional Office (WZ)

B-3/240, Arera Colony
Bhopal - 462016

Sub:   Permission for survey and investigations in the Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to your D.O. NO.8c/15/533/98-FCW/2066 dated 20.9.1999 on the above mentioned subject. I am to inform you that all proposals requiring permission for survey and investigation in sanctuaries and National Parks involving forest area upto 20 ha. is to be processed by the concerned Regional Office. However, before processing these proposals the matter should be first referred to the Wildlife Wing of the Ministry for examination and only thereafter the proposals should be processed.

This is for your kind information and necessary action please.

Yours faithfully,

 

(R.K. GUPTA)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests.

Copy to:

1.       Addl. IGF(WL)

2.               All Regional Offices, Lucknow

3.               All offices in FC Division.

(R.K. GUPTA)
AIGF

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN, CGO COMPLEX, LODI ROAD, NEW DELHI - 110 003

No. 11-30/96-FC(Pt.)                                                                                  January 24, 2000

To,
The Forest Secretary,
All States/U.Ts.

Subject: Guidelines for diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to this Ministry's letter of even number dated 26.2.99 on the above mentioned subject and to clarify that in para (iv), a copy of the mining plan duly approved by the IBM, Nagpur is required only in case of major mineral.

Yours faithfully,

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
ASSTT. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS (FC)

 

Copy to:-

 

1.       The Secretary (Forests), Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur w.r. to your letter No. P.(76) For./99 dated 12.11.99.

2.                 All CCF(C) & CF(C).

3.                 All Officers of F.C. Div.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


F.No. 2-2/2000-FC

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
F.C. Division
Paryavaran Bhawan
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003

                                                                                                                Dated: 27.03.2000

 To
All the Forest Secretaries

Sub:   Submission of proposals under F(C) Act, 1980 for mining-Additional guidelines.

Sir,

I am directed to invite your attention on the subject mentioned above and to say that the matter of stipulation of adequate environmental safeguard measures in respect of mining - both open and underground was under consideration of the Ministry for some time. After having detailed consultation with Centre of Mining Environment, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, it has been decided that all future mining proposals in forest areas in respect of coal and other major minerals should be accompanied with the following documents:

1. In respect of Underground mining in stratified deposits in forest areas

The mining plan in stratified deposits in forest areas should include the predicted subsidence, slope and strain values and their impact on forests and surface and their mitigation. The maximum tensile strain of 20 mm per metre and thereby the surface cracks fo width of about 200-300 mm is to be permitted in forest areas. Accordingly, the mine plans should be made to restrict the subsidence movement within these limits with the provision of mitigation measures.

It is therefore directed that all mining plans in respect of coal and other major minerals should be got examined by institutes like Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad; CMRI, Dhanbad; IBM, Nagpur and subsidence analysis alongwith the mitigation measures suggested by them should be submitted along with the proposal. The surface layout of mining area should be designed so as to use minimum possible land and wherever feasible the surface facilities should be planned over non-forest areas.

2. Open case mining in forest areas:

In respect of open cast mining in forest areas, a comprehensive study of solid waste management and land reclamation with post mining land use plan and de-commissioning should be made and the plan should envisage the maximum possible oberburden dumping outside the mine. In place where the non-forest land is available, the external dumping of the overburden should be planned on non-forest land. Special attention should be given to top-soil and sub-soil handling and management.

 3. Use of Fly ash in reclamation of open cast mines

 Wherever feasible, depending upon the characteristic of fly ash and its availability nearby, use of fly ash in reclamation of open pits should be looked into and planned. Fly ash for this purpose should be characterised from the point of view of leaching potential with special reference to heavy metals.

It is, therefore, requested that all future proposals should be submitted alongwith above details. These guidelines are in addition to the other guidelines for mining proposals that have been issued earlier by the Ministry from time to time. While forwarding the proposals, the State Government may also bear in mind the para 7.13 of The National Mineral Policy, 1993 (for non-fuel & non-atomic mineral) wherein it states that "------. Mining operation shall not ordinarily be taken up in identified ecologically fragile and biologically rich areas.......".

It is suggested that these details may be submitted without any further delay in respect of such proposals which has already been submitted to this Ministry or Regional Offices and where a decision is pending.

Yours faithfully,

 

(A.N. Prasad)
Dy. Inspector General of Forests

Copy to:

1.       All PCCFs

2.                 All Nodal Officers

3.                 All Regional Offices

4.                 Secretary, Department of Mines

5.                 Secretary, Department of Coal

(A.N. Prasad)
Dy. Inspector General of Forests

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


No. 11-30/96-FC(Pt.)

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
(F.C. DIVISION)
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN, CGO COMPLEX,
NEW DELHI - 110 003

                                                                                           May 23, 2000

To,
The Secretary (Forests),
All States.

Subject:       Guideline for Compensatory Afforestation.

Sir,

I am directed to invite your kind attention to the para 3.2(ii) and (iii) of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 Rules and Guidelines (as amended up to 1992) where it is mentioned that

  • "As far as possible, the non-forest land for compensatory afforestation should be identified contiguous to or in the proximity of reserved forest or protected forest to enable the Forest Department to effectively manage the newly planted area".

  • "In the event that non-forest land of compensatory afforestation is not available in the same district, non-forest land for compensatory afforestation may be identified anywhere else in the State/U.T. as near as possible to the site of diversion, so as to minimise adverse impact on the micro-ecology of the area".

However, it has been observed that compensatory afforestation lands area not selected adjoining or as close to the site of diversion by  the State Government while submitting proposal for diversion of forest land under Section-2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and therefore, the spirit of this guideline is not followed. It is therefore requested that State Government should ensure compliance of above mentioned guideline in letter and spirit.

Yours faithfully,

(R.K. GUPTA)
ASSTT. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS (FC)

Copy to:

All Concerned

All ROs, Lucknow

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


No. 2-2/2000-FC

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan
CGO Complex
Lodi Road, New Delhi-3

                                                                                                   Dated: 16.10.2000

To,
The Forest Secretaries
All States

         Subject:  Guidelines for site inspection of the proposal submitted by the State Governments under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to para 4.10(ii) of the Guideline issued under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and to say that after careful consideration, the Ministry has decided to amend this provision as per below:

4.10(ii)         "In respect of proposals involving diversion of forest land above 100 hectare, site inspections shall be carried out by the Regional Offices of the Ministry. However, the State/UT Governments required to continue to send a copy of proposals involving diversion of forest land above 20 hectare to the concerned Regional Office as per existing practice.

In respect of proposals involving renewal of leases, the Regional Offices of the Ministry should submit a copy of the report of the latest monitoring done (one year before the expiry of the lease period) along with the abstract of monitoring report of the project during the lease period specially highlighting the conditions which have not been fulfilled, with complete details of the reasons for not fulfilling. The conditions which have been complied with should also be highlighted with the quality of performance of the project authorities with short note on the desirability of renewal of lease and other recommendations".

I am further directed to invite your kind attention to para 4.10(i) of the Guideline and to say that the site inspection (report) by the State Foreost Officials namely DFO and CF are not being strictly followed. It is therefore, requested to ensure that every proposal up to 40 hectare must be accompanied by a site inspection report from the DFO and proposals involving above 40 hectare should have a site inspection report of the CF. They should, apart from providing the information in the proforma, also attach a clear cut certificate as regards the violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. In case, violation has taken place, a detailed report should be submitted by the DFO and countersigned by the CF along with the proposal.

Yours faithfully,

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
ASSTT. I.G.F. (FC)

 

Copy to,

 

1.       All PCCFs

2.                 All Regional CCF (Central)

3.                 All Nodal Officers of the State Government/UT

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


11-9/98-FC

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
F.C. Division
Paryavaran Bhawan
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003

                                                                                                               Dated: 16.10.2000

To

The Secretary (Forests) - (All States/UTs).

Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

Detailed guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were finalised and circulated to all the State Government/Union Territories on 25.10.1992. A constant review of these guidelines has been done from time to time. After a recent review the Ministry has observed that in certain proposals of public importance involving laying underground telephone lines/optical fiber cables and drinking water supply pipelines the land requirement is small, the land use is temporary & usually one time affair, is in a form of strip with minimum damage, which is restored after use and are normally laid along the roads.

In view of the above, the Central Government hereby conveys its general approval under Section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for underground laying of optical fiber cables, underground laying of telephone lines & underground laying of drinking water supply pipelines which involve no tree felling, are outside National Parks or Wildlife sanctuary, are laid along the roads and within the existing right of way and the maximum size of the trench is 2.00 metre depth & 1.00 metre width. Any deviation from the above category/conditions will require separate submission of proposal/permission under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

This approval will be subject to the following conditions:

1.       The user agency will seek permission from the State Forest Deptt. under local Acts/Rules, etc.

2.                 The user agency agrees to make good the land after use/maintenance.

3.                 The user agency agrees to make good any loss to forest/environment.

4.                 The user agency seeks permission from local Forest Deptt. for carrying out any maintenance.

The State Government/Union Territories will submit a quarterly progress report on the extent of the forest land diverted for each purpose to the Ministry as well as the concerned Regional Offices. This approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 is being conveyed initially for a period of two years subject to review thereafter.

Yours faithfully,

(R.K. GUPTA)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

Copy to:-

 

1.       All PCCF/Nodal Officers (All States/UTs).

2.                 All Regional Offices.

3.                 DIG(FC), Director(FC), AIG(FC-K, M, G).

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


No. 2-2/2000-FC

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan
CGO Complex
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-3

                                                                                                          Dated: 16.10.2000

 To

The Chief Conservator of Forests (Central)
Regional Office

           Subject: Guidelines for site inspection of the proposal submitted by the State Governments under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

 Sir,

I am directed to refer to para 4.10(ii) of the Guideline issued under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and to say that the present provision of mandatory site inspection of cases involving diversion of forest land more than 40 hectare, is not resulting in desired effect. This has also affected the important work of Regional Offices in monitoring of conditions of approved cases.

Therefore, it has been decided by the Ministry that Regional Office will carry out site inspection, mandatory, in cases where diversion of forest land is above 100 hectare. The site inspection report should be on the prescribed proforma, which is already circulated vide letter no.11-13/96-FC dated 04.06.1996 and it should be specific on alternatives examined by the project authority, minimum requirement of forest land and self explanatory particularly with regard to overall impact of the project and also contain site specific mitigating measures, in case of recommending a project. The report should also contain photographs of the site indicating main points mentioned in the report.

However, site inspection of proposals involving diversion of forest land up to 100 hectare will be need based i.e. will be done by the Regional Offices as and when desired by the Forest Advisory Committee/or Ministry. The Regional Office will, however, scrutinise the proposal (involving forest land between 20 hectare to 100 hectare) and can send their observation or any feedback particularly violation of the Act, for further processing of the proposal.

In respect of proposals involving renewal of leases, the Regional Offices of the Ministry should submit a copy of the report of the latest monitoring done (one year before the expiry of lease period) along with the abstract of monitoring report of the project during the lease period specially highlighting the conditions which have not been fulfilled, with complete details of the reasons for not fulfilling. The conditions which have been complied with should also be highlighted with the quality of performance of the project authorities with short note on the desirability of renewal of lease and other recommendations".

It has been further decided that Regional Office should pay more attention towards carrying out monitoring of approved cases.

Yours faithfully,

 

(VB KUMAR)
ASSTT. I.G.F.(FC)

------------------------------------------------------------------------


No. 5-5/86-FC(Pt.)

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
F.C. Division

Paryavaran Bhawan,
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi-110 003

                                                                                       Dated: 03.09.2001

To,
The Secretary (Forests)-(All States/UTs.)
PCCF/Nodal Officers (All States/UTs)

  Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

 Sir,

Detailed guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were finalised and circulated to all the State Government/Union Territories on 25.10.1992. A constant review of these guidelines has been done from time to time and certain amendments are issued.

The Ministry vide its letter of even No. dated 30.10.98 had added Para 4.18 t the guidelines, with an intention to grant one year working permission along with the in-principle approval. Inadvertently, this intention of the Ministry was not properly reflected in the Para 4.18, which has led to certain confusion. Therefore, in partial modification of the Ministry's letter of even No. dated 30.10.98, the Para 4.18 may be read as follows:

"4.18  In respect of proposals related to renewal of mining leases, the Central Government would grant one year working permission, along with in-principle approval for already broken up areas so as to enable the State Government to comply with the conditions. This period can be extended by one more year subject to submission of reasonable progress report from the State Government as regards to the steps taken to comply with the stipulated contitions".

Kindly acknowledge receipt.

Yours faithfully,

 

(R.K. GUPTA)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

Copy to:-

1.       All Regional Offices.

2.                 DIG(FC), Director(FC), AIGs(FC)

 

(R.K. GUPTA)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


No. 11-30/96-FC(Pt.)

Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
F.C. Division

Paryavaran Bhawan,
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi-110 003

                                                                               Dated: 28.06.2001

To,
The Secretary (Forests)-(All States/UTs),

All PCCF/Nodal Officers (All States/UTs)

  Sub:   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

Sir,

Detailed guidelines for submission of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were finalised and circulated to all the State Government/Union Territories on 25.10.1992. A constant review of these guidelines has been done from time to time.

After a recent review the Ministry has observed that forest clearance proposals received from various States reveal that, more often than not, they are of piece-meal nature with reference to a particular district/area or particular type of industry/purpose. Unless a comprehensive picture is available as to the extent of forest land diverted for non-forestry purposes in a particular district/State vis-a-vis the total forest cover of that particular district or State., the Ministry can be misguided towards avoidable decisions. Our target of attaining 33 per cent National forest cover could be possible not only by new afforestation programmes in additional non-forest areas but also by a very careful preservation of the existing forest lands. Further, it is necessary to judiciously apply the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes and more so due to the fact that in the last 20 years of the Act more than 6000 proposals involving about 5.00 lakh hectare forest land  has been diverted for non-forestry purposes.

In view of the above, all the proposals seeking prior approval of the Central Government in accordance with Section-2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 should invariably contain the following information.

a)                 Extent of forest cover in the concerned district/State/

b)                Extent of forest land diverted so far under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in the concerned district/State.

c)                 Extent of forest land diverted for the same/similar prupose/project so far in the concerned district/State.

d)                Progress of compensatory afforestation in the concerned district/State under earlier forest clearances.

In future, no proposal without this information shall be processed. However, the States/UTs may submit the above information on a consolidated, calendar year basis every year as per the proforma enclosed so as to avoid duplication/re-iteration in each proposal.

Kindly acknowledge receipt.

Yours faithfully,

(R.K. GUPTA)
Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

Copy to (NIO):-

1.       All Regional Offices for information. While submitting SAG files, the above information may be given as desired by the MEF. Till the State Government/UTs start giving this information with the proposals, the same may be included in the site inspection report.

 2.                 DIG(FC), Director(FC), AIGs (FC)

 

(R.K. GUPTA)

Asstt. Inspector General of Forests

 

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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN
CGO COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

 

                                                                                      Dated: 4.5.01

To
The Secretary (Forests),

All States & Union Territories.

Sub:-  Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 that are part of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Sir,

I am directed to invite your attention to the guidelines circulated by this Ministry vide letter of even no. dt. 4.12.98 regarding submission of proposals for diversion of forest land in Sanctuaries/National Parks and Tiger Reserve areas. You may be aware that subsequent to the issue of this guideline, the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has passed two important orders relating to National Parks and Sanctuaries - one dt. 13.11.00 in WP No.337/95, where they have directed that pending further orders, no de-reservation of Sanctuaries and National Parks shall be effected. In the other order dt. 14.2.00, in WP No.202/95, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has restrained all the States from ordering even the removal of dead, diseased, dying or wind-fallen trees and grasses etc. from any National Park or Sanctuary.

2.       In view of the above orders of the Supreme Court, the State Governments are advised not to submit any proposal for diversion of forest land in National Parks and Sanctuaries under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 without seeking prior permission the Supreme Court. The earlier guideline issued by the Ministry may be considered modified to this extent.

 

(A.N. PRASAD)
Deputy Inspector General of Forests

Copy to:

1.       PCCFs/Chief Wildlife Wardens/Nodal Officers of all States & Union Territories.

2.       Regional CCFs(Central) and CF(Central) for information and necessary action.

 

(A.N. PRASAD)
Deputy Inspector General of Forests