Clarifications on MOEF on F(C)A Rules & Guidelines

No. 5-5/86-FC-Pt-1

Government of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests

(FC Division)

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

                                                                                              Dated: 21-12-1993

To,
The Secretary (Forests)
Government of Bihar, Patna.

Subject: Applicability of FC Act, 1980 to the forest area to be broken up after 25.10.80 under a continued mining lease.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to the Chief Secretary's D.O. letter No. Van-hu-Ha-Khan 78/93-1362 E dated 4.11.93 addressed to Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi, on the above mentioned subject and to say that:

i) In respect of mining lease granted/renewed before 25-10-80 prior approval of the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 will not be required for continuing mining activities in areas already broken up before 25-10-80 during the Continuance of the lease period.

ii) In respect of mining leases granted/renewed before 28.10.80, if area is to be broken up afresh after commencement of the Act i.e. 25-10-80 prior approval of the Central Government will be required under the FC Act even during the continuance of lease period.

iii) The prior approval of the Central Government, under Section - 3 of the FC Act would be required when a mining lease granted before commencement of the Act is renewed after its coming into force. It applies even to such cases where mining is to be continued in already broken up areas.

 Yours faithfully,

        sd/-

 (MUNINDRA)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

Copy to: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Bihar, Ranchi

sd/-

 (MUNINDRA)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India



C.P. OBERAI

 

INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS &
SPECIAL SECRETARY
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

D.O. No. 10-236/FCE                                                               Dated  6/10/98

 

Dear Shri

          I would like to draw your attention where proposals for diversion of forest land under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 is being submitted by the State Government. It has been noticed that several proposals for forest clearance are being submitted by the State Govt. wherein prosecution case has already been initiated against the defaulting agency/ officials by the State Govt. Therefore, in light of this, all State Governments, State Forest Departments and Regional CCFs are advised not to consider/process cases which are pending in various Courts or are subjudiced, to avoid all sorts of administrative and legal complicatons.

 

With regards,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sd/-

 

(C.P. OBERAI)

 

Shri R.S. Mathur
Chief Secretary
Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow.

Copy to:

(i)                The Forest Secretaries of all State Govts./U.Ts.

(ii)              The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of all States/U.Ts.

(iii)            The Regional Chief Conservator of Forests.

 (C.P. OBERAI)


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN, C.G.O. COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

 No. 11-30/96-FC(Pt.)                                                             Dated: 26.02.99

 To

 The Chief Secretary

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

 Sir,

Ministry has been issuing guidelines for submission of proposal for diversion of forest land for non  forestry purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, from time to time. In order to ensure that the forest lands are diverted only for site specific projects, that too where it is inescapable, so that the ecological balance of the country is well protected. Ministry would like to draw the attention of the State/Union Territory Governments to some of the issues given below. It is requested that while submitting the proposals, the respective States/UT Administration should give due consideration to these and should submit proposal accordingly after detailed scrutiny.

1.  Diversion of forest land in Sanctuaries, National Parks and Biosphere Reserves.

Ministry had already issued a guideline on this issue vide No.11-9/98-FC dated 4.12.98. The procedure suggested in this that these areas should be kept inviolate and should not be recommended for diversion. However, in some exceptional cases, where it is totally unavoidable to use forest land and the project is of national importance, proposal should be submitted as per the procedure suggested in the guideline including assessment of restrictions imposed by Section 29 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

2.   Diversion of forest land within Reserve Forest.

As per the Status of Forest Report, 1997 published by Forest Survey of India, out of 76.25 million ha. of total forest area, roughly 54.4% is Reserve Forest area. These forests are considered as good forests with plenty of biodiversity and it is necessary to keep these forests intact. As such, any proposal for diversion in Reserve Forest should be very carefully examined and detailed justification after exhausting all alternatives for locating the project in this forest area should be given while forwarding the proposal. Unless it is convincingly justified vis-a-vis alternative sites, Central Govt. may not consider clearance of projects on forest lands.

3. Regarding Mining proposals

It has been observed by the Central Govt. that a large number of proposals relating to mining are submitted which are located deep inside the forest areas. Locating such proposals inside makes entire forest area vulnerable due to ancillary activities like construction of approach road, movement of vehicles and coming up of colonies for the workers. It has also been observed that whatever area has already been opened up for mining of different minerals, have not been worked and reclaimed systematically and scientifically. There is a tendency to open up new pits without exhausting the existing ones to its full depth/ potential. Therefore, Ministry has decided that whenever a proposal for fresh mining is submitted a brief profile of the lessee/company should be submitted giving details of their existing mining leases in the State with their capacity of production and the present level of average annual production and location of these pits. Alongwith this, the State Govt. should also submit details of all other mining leases for that particular mineral with their capacity and average annual production and projected future requirements. They should fully justify the necessity of opening new mining leases for that particular mineral, also give status of reclamation of forest land that are exhausted of minerals. Unless the State Govt. justifies the need to open up new mines with details, it shall not be possible for the Central Govt. to consider it.

Even in the case of renewals, it has been observed that the State Govts. are not giving complete picture of mining activity in the particular block or compartment of the forest block. It is requested that whenever such a proposal is sent, complete details of existing or proposed leases in that particular forest area with their present status should be indicated on Survey of India topo-sheet on 1:50,000 scale.

4.  Diversion for non-site specific projects

It has been observed that Central Govt. is receiving a large number of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-site specific projects like industries, construction of  residential colonies, institutes, disposal of fly ash, rehabilitation of displaced persons etc. Attention is drawn to column 1(iv) of the format in which the proposal is to be submitted by the State Govt. In this column, justification for locating the project in the forest area giving details of the alternatives examined and reasons for their rejection has to be furnished. Normally, it is observed that this column is not conclusively filled by the State Govt. Normally, there should not be any justification for locating non-site specific projects on forest land. Therefore, it is once again reiterated that the State Govt. scrutinize the alternatives in more details and must give complete justification establishing its inescapability for locating the project in forest area. It will be appreciated if proposals are scrutinised from this angle at the State Govt. level itself and should not be sent to the Central Govt.

5. It has been observed that in respect of a large number of proposals the Central Govt. is receiving representation from NGOs/local public bodies against the diversion of forest land on loss of forest land, environment and ecological grounds. Therefore, the Central Govt. feels that it is essential to have the opinion of the local people whenever a project is coming up in that area. Therefore, it has been decided that whenever any proposal for diversion of forest land is submitted, it should be accompanied by a resolution of the Gram Sabha of Gram Panchayat/Local Body of the area endorsing the proposal that the project is in the interest of people living in and around the proposed foreost land.

Yours faithfully,

 

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

Copy to:

1.                 The Forest Secretary, Govt. of

2.                 The PCCF, Govt. of

3.                 The Nodal Officer, O/o the PCCF, Govt. of

4.                 The CCF (C), Regional Office

(V.B.KUMAR)
A I G (FC)


 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN, C.G.O. COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

No. 11-17/96-FC                                                            Dated: May 25, 1999

To,
All the Forest Secretaries
State Government.

Subject: Clarification regarding safety zone.

Sir,

1. I am directed to invite your attention on the above mentioned subject and to say that the attention of the Ministry has been drawn by several user agencies as well as Federation of Indian Mining Industries (FIMI) that safety zones area calculation is not being done in a very uniform manner in different States. It has also been observed by this Ministry that while submitting proposals under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, different norms of safety zone calculations have been adopted for different proposals. It has been seen that in some proposals safety zone around magazine and safety zone requirement for blasting has been taken as safety zone area under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

 2. Ministry will like to clarify that the concept of safety zone, as envisaged in the guidelines under the Forest requirements under different mines and minerals regulations. Safety zone area calculation in the proposal should be done taking 7.5 metres strip of the forest land all along the outer boundary of the mining lease area. If it is a cluster proposal, then the outer boundaries of the cluster should be taken as the safety zone.

 3. In some of the mining lese areas, public roads, forest roads, natural streams and nallahs are also located. In order to safeguard these from the mining activities, it is necessary that no mining activities should be carried out up to certain reasonable extent. This area can also be included in the safety zone calculation and provision for its fencing and regeneration should be made in the proposal.

4. It is further clarified that area under safety zone has to be indicated separately in the proposal and will not be included in the area demanded for diversion. This area will remain under control of the Forest Department and its fencing, regeneration etc. will be done by the Department from the fund released from the user agency.

 Yours faithfully,

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

Copy to:-

 

1.                 All Principal Chief Conservators of Forests.

2.                 All Nodal Officers.

3.                 All Regional CCFs (Central) and CF (Central).

 

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



C.P. OBERAI

 

INSPECTOR GENERAL OF FORESTS & SPECIAL SECRETARY
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

D.O. No. 6-1/98-RO(IIQ)

Dated  June 14, 1999

Subject: Prior approval of the Central Government for harvesting of plantations in Government land.

Ref: Letter No.1806 dt. 25.5.99

Dear Shri

1. You have vide your above mentioned letter rquested for clarification if felling of man-made forest requires clearance from Central Government. In this connection, it is informed that the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India has received some proposals regarding harvesting of plantations from different States. These proposals are being examined for approval under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. It is pointed out that in view of the order of the Supreme Court of India dated 12.12.1996 in a PIL Writ Petition No.202/95, forest operations are required to be carried out strictly in accordance with the prescriptions of the working plans approved by the Central Government.

2. The plantations, which State Government of Bihar is proposing to harvest, are standing on Government land and the areas have been notified as protected forest. It is clarified that working schemes prepared for harvesting and reforestation of these plantations should require prior approval of the Central Government for their implementation.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

sd/-

(C.P. OBERAI)

 

Shri K.D. Singh
Commissioner & Secretary
Government of Bihar
Department of Forest & Environment
Patna, Bihar.

 

Copy to:

 

1.                 The Regional CCF (ER), MoEF, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

2.                 The Regional CCF (WR), MoEF, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

3.                 The Regional CCF (NER), MoEF, Shillong, Meghalaya.

4.                 The Regional CCF (SER), MoEF, Bangalore, Karnataka.

5.                 The Regional CCF (NR), MoEF, Chandigarh, Punjab.

 

for necessary action

 

(C.P. Oberai)

 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN, C.G.O. COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

 No. 11-2/98-FC (Pt.)                                                              June 29, 1999

To,
The Secretary (Forests)
Government of Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow.

Subject:  CLARIFICATION REGARDING APPLICABILITY OF FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT, 1980 IN RESPECT OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTION OF FOREST (PRIVATE) LAND IN MUSSOORIE CITY OF UTTAR PARADESH.

 Sir,

I am directed to say that this Ministry through its Regional Office (Lucknow) has received a large number of proposals from State Government for seeking approval of Central Government under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for regularization/repair/renovation of buildings on private forest/ forest land in Mussoorie city.

It is mentioned in the proposal that these have been submitted by the State Government as per the orders of Supreme Court in writ petition No.749/95 in the matter of SCMC Vs. MDDA and others. In above writ petition, Hon'ble Supreme Court has taken cognizance of building construction on private forest land in Mussoorie in violation of provisions of F(C) Act, 1980. The apex court ordered inter-alia that State Government will forward all such cases to Central Government for seeking ex-post facto approval and Central Government will process these proposals in accordance with the rules framed under the 1980 Act, without making any final order.

The Ministry has received several representations saying that the provisions of F(C) Act are not correctly applied while formulating/submitting proposals by the State Government. It seems that there is some lack of clarity regarding applicability of the provisions of the act in respect of construction of the buildings etc., forest/ private forest in Mussoorie. Therefore, this Ministry has felt it necessary to clarify/reiterate provisions of F(C) Act regarding its applicability in such cases.

1.       In some of the proposals, it was noticed that proposals have been submitted of land, which is not notified private forest land. If it is not a forest as per revenue record, it has to be "Forest" as per dictionary, sense to attract provisions of F(C) Act. However, in such cases State Government must enclose a certifcate that this land has been identified by the Expert Committee and is listed in the affidavit filed by the State Government in Apex Court in W.P. No.202/1995.

2.       In respect of proposals seeking ex-post factor approval of Central Government and for carrying out repair/renovation etc. of building which was constructed in violation of F(C) Act, it is clarified that if State Government comes to conclusion that there is violation of F(C) Act, and approval of Central Government is required then proposals for seeking ex-post facto approval of Central Government as per direction of Hon'ble Supreme Court should be submitted. As per direction of apex court, State Government has already been asked to provide certain information e.g. cases where inquiry/investigation is going on the complaints of irregularities, and certificate that there is no violation of MBA/MDDA by-laws and cases are free from extraneous considerations. The report of State Government on this account is still awaited in spite several reminders. Once these informations are provided by State Government, proposals will be processed as per the directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court.

 3.       In respect of proposal of new construction of building on forest land, it is clarified that F(C) Act is attracted for all types of forests incuding dictionary sense and certificate as mentioned in para 1 of this letter should be enclosed. All such proposals will be processed as per the guidelines of F(C) Act, 1980 in force.

 4.       Cases for repair/renovation/reconstruction on existing plinth area where the main building was constructed before 25.10.1980 (i.e. when the Act came into force) and permission under prevailing rules/regulations was obtained for such construction, it is clarified that provisions of F(C) Act, 1980 are not attracted (as forest areas has already been deemed to be divered for non-forestry use) as long as the activity is on the existing plinth area and breaking of additional fresh forest area is not involved and there is no change in nature of its use.

 i.            However, clearance under other by-laws of local authority should be obtained.

ii.             Since the Master Plan of Doon Valley is under consideration of the Ministry, permission for repair/renovation etc. under Environment Protection Act may be given subject to fulfilment of following conditions:

 a)                 The building are constructed before the Doon Valley notification i.e. 01.01.1989.

b)                There is no change is norms for plinth area/FSI existent at the time of issue of Doon Valley Notification.

c)                It meets the requirement of F(C) Act, 1980.

 5.       Your kind attention is also drawn to direction of Hon'ble Supreme Court in writ petition no.469/96 dated 25.01.99 to ensure compliance where permission for rebuilding of properties in Mussoorie has been refused.

 6.       You are requested to re-examine all the proposals submitted for seeking approval of Central Government under F(C) Act in light of the above clarification and furnish necessary information as mentioned above to CCF(C), Lucknow and take suitable action to ensure correct application of F(C) Act.

Yours faithfully,

        sd/-

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

Copy to:

1.              PCCF, State Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.

2.              CCF(C), Regional Office, Lucknow for suitable necessary action.

3.              Nodal Officer, Office of PCCF, Lucknow.

4.              M/s. Platinum Mercantile Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi with respect to their representation dated 3.2.99.

5.             Director, Environment Wing, MoEF, New Delhi.

sd/-

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



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN, C.G.O. COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

No. 11-9/99-FC                                                                     November 4, 1999

To,
The Forest Secretary,
All the State Govts.

Subject: Regarding reconsideration of the rejected proposals under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

 Sir,

I am directed to invite your attention to the proposals submitted under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes. It has been observed that in some cases, the State Government comes up with a request for reconsideration of the proposal after it has been considered and rejected by the Ministry. Ministry is considering such requests of the State Government. However, it is felt that whenever a request for consideration is made, it should be made within three months from the date of issue of the rejection letter. Moreover, the letter should give a detailed justification for reconsideration. A detailed comment should be made on the grounds on which the proposal has been rejected. Such an information would help this Ministry to take a rational decision in the matter.

Yours faithfully,

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

Copy to:-

1.                  Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of all States.

2.                  Nodal Officers (in charge of FC) of all States

3.                 Regional CCFs (C) and CF(C)

(V.B. KUMAR)
A.I.G. (FC)


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN, C.G.O. COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

No. 8-93/97-FC                                                                                  4.11.1999

 To,
The Secretary (Forests)
All the State Govts.

Subject:          Regarding the proposals submitted in the Section-2 of Forest (Conservation) Act.

Sir,

This Ministry has been receiving a large number of proposals for diversion of forest land for non-site specific projects like setting of industries, construction of residential colonies, disposal of fly ash, rehabilitation of displaced persons etc. These proposals are submitted without exploring other alternatives on non-forest land.

2.       The Ministry has issued detailed guidelines vide letter No.11-13/96-FC(Pt.) dated 26.2.99 clearly mentioning that such proposals should be submitted only in case of inescapability of locating non-site specific project on forest land.

3.       The State Govt. of Bihar submitted a proposal for diversion of 123.05 ha. of forest land for disposal of fly ash generating from Bokaro Thermal Power Station in distt. Bokaro. After examining the proposal, the Ministry found that there is an alternative of disposal of fly ash on non-forest land as well as on already mined out area by Central Coal Field Ltd. Accordingly, the State Govt. was advised to find alternative for disposal of fly ash. The State Govt. found an alternative and tied up with BCCL for using their already mined areas for disposal of fly ash. An agreement was also signed between the BCCL and DVC (user agency) in this regard where the twin objective of reclaiming of already mined areas and disposal of fly ash has been met.

4.       This Ministry desires such type of arrangement where non-site specific activities may be confined to non-forest area and most preferably on such forest land which need reclamation. It is, therefore, expected that other State Govt. may also make such arrangement where pressure on forest land for non-site specific project are reduced.

Yours faithfully,

 

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

CC:    1.          All PCCFs/Nodal Officers.

2.                 ROs.

3.                 Ministry of Coal/Ministry of Power.

 


 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAVAN, C.G.O. COMPLEX
LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

No. 5-5/86-FC                                                              December 7, 1999

 To,
All Forest Secretaries
All States

Subject:          Regarding reported violation under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

I am directed to invite your attention to the above mentioned subject and to say that it has been observed by the Ministry that State Govts. are reporting/filling affidavits/prosecutions in different courts indicating violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 alongwith Indian Forests Act, 1927. From a perusal of these documents, it appears that there is some lack of clarity of the understanding of violation of F(C) Act, 1980. Your attention is invited to section-2 of the Act, which says :-

"Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force in a State, no State Government or other authority shall make, except with the prior approval of the Central Government, any order directing -

i)              that any reserved forest (within the meaning of the expression "reserved forest" in any law for the time being in force in that State) or any portion thereof, shall cease to be resrved;

 ii)           that any forest land or any portion thereof may be used for any non-forest purpose;

 iii)               that any forest land or any portion thereof may be assigned by way of lease or otherwise to any private person or to any authority, corporation agency or any other organisation not owned, managed or controlled by Government;

iv)               that any forest land or any portion thereof may be cleared of trees which have grown naturally in that land or portion, for the purpose of using it for re-afforestation".

 2.       It is clear from the above that Section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, applied to the cases where the State Government or any authority passes any order for permitting activities covered by Item No. (i) to (iv) above without prior approval of Government of India.

3.       Cases of illicit felling and encroachment of illegal mining have to be dealt under the provisions of Indian Forests Act, 1927/State Forest Act/Environment Protection Act, 1986 and the responsibility of effective implementation of the said Acts vests with the State Government. Provision of Forest (Conservation) Act should not be invoked in dealing with the offences mentioned in para above. Forest Conservation Act's mandate is confined to tackle the situation mentioned in para 1.

4.       In cases where the State Government is fully convinced that the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 have been violated, a detailed report clearly mentioning the nature of offences, the person responsible for allowing the offence, with all relevant details, should be sent to Regional Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of India so that appropriate action can be taken against the official responsible for violation of the Act.

Yours faithfully,

 

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

Copy to :-

1.                 All PCCFs.

2.                 All CCFs.

 



No. 11-2/98-FC(Pt)

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

Dated: 31-03-2000

To,
The Secretary (Forests)
Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow

Subject: Clarification regarding applicability of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in respect of building construction on forest (private) land in Mussoorie City of Uttar Pradesh.

Sir,

In suppression of this Ministry's letter of even no. dated 26th June 1999 on above mentioned subject I am directed to say that this Ministry through its Regional Office (Lucknow) has received large number of proposals from State Government for seeking approval of Central Government under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for regularization/repair/ renovation of buildings on private/forest land in Mussoorie city.

It is mentioned in the proposal that these have been submitted by the State Government as per the orders of Supreme Court in writ petition No.749/95 in the matter of SCMC Vs. MDDA and Others. In above writ petition, Hon'ble Supreme court has taken cognizance of building construction on private forest land in Mussoorie in violation of provisions of F(C) Act, 1980. The apex Court ordered inter-alia that State Government will forward all such cases to Central Government for seeking ex-post facto approval and Central Government will process these proposals in accordance with the rules framed under the 1980 Act, without making any final order.

The Ministry has received several representations saying that the provisions of F(C) Act are not correctly applied while formulating/submitting proposals by the State Government. It seems that there is some lack of clarity regarding applicability of the provisions of the act in respect of construction of buildings etc., forest/private forest in Mussoorie. There, this Ministry has felt it necessary to clarify/reiterate provisions of F(C) Act regarding its applicability in such cases.

1.       In some of the proposals, it was noticed that proposals have been submitted of land which is not notified private forest land. If it is not a forest as per revenue record, it has to be "Forest" as per dictionary sense to attract provisions of F(C) Act. However, in such cases, State Government must enclose a certificate that this land has been identified by the Expert Committee and is listed in the affidavit filed by the State Government in Apex Court in W.P. No.202/95.

2.       IN respect of proposals seeking ex-post facto approval of Central Government and for carrying out repair/renovation etc., of building which was constructed in violation of F(C) Act, it is clarified that if State Government comes to conclusion that there is violation of F(C) Act and approval of Central Government is required then proposals for seeking ex-post facto approval of Central Government as per direction of Hon'ble Supreme Court should be submitted. As per direction of apex court, State Government has already been asked to provide certain information e.g. cases where inquiry/investigation is going on the complaints of irregularities and certificate that there is no violation of MBA/MDDA by-laws and cases are free from extraneous consideration. The report of State Government on this account is still awaited in spite of several reminders. Once these information are provided by State Government, proposals will be processed as per the directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court.

3.       In respect of proposal of new construction building on forest land, it s clarified that F(C) Act is attracted for all types of forests including dictionary sense and certificate as mentioned in para 1 of this letter should be enclosed. All such proposals will be processed as per the guidelines of F(C) Act, 1980 in force.

4.       Cases for repair/renovation/reconstruction on existing plinth area where the main building was constructed before 25.10.1980 (i.e. when the Act came into force) and permission under prevailing rules/regulations was obtained for such construction, general permission under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 is given subject to following criteria being satisfied/fulfilled:

(a)              Repair/Renovation/Reconstruction is limited on existing plinth area and the increase in built up area or the height over and above the existing built up area is not more than 10%.

(b)             There is no breaking of fresh forest land.

(c)              No felling of trees are involved.

(d)             There is no change in nature of its use.

(e)              It is not prohibited by any other State Notification/ Rules/By laws in that area.

(f)               Permissible under Doon Valley Notification.

However, permission under other by-laws of local authority will have to be obtained.

5.       Your kind attention is also drawn to direction of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Writ Petition No.469/96 dated 25.1.99 to ensure compliance where permission for rebuilding of properties in Mussoorie has been refused.

6.       You are requested to re-examine all the proposals submitted for seeking approval of Central Government under F(C) Act in light of the above clarification and furnish necessary information as mentioned above to CCF(C), Lucknow and take suitable action to ensure correct application of F(C) Act.

Yours faithfully,

 

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

 

Copy to :-

 

1.                 PCCF, State Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.

2.                 CCF (C), Regional Office, Lucknow for suitable necessary action.

3.                 Nodal Officer, Office of PCCF, Lucknow.

 

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



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

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

                                                                                                Dated: 17/8/2000

To,
The Chief Secretary
All States

Subject: Scrutiny of proposals submitted for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

In continuation of this office letter of even no. dated 26.02.1999, I am directed to refer to para 5 and to say that resolution of "Aam Sabha"/Panchayat or Local bodies would not be needed along with the proposal of diversion of forest land submitted under section-2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 wherever consent of the local people in one form or another has been obtained by the State or the project proponents and the same is indicated in the proposal explicitly. However, it would be required where the project activity on forest land is affecting quality of life of the people residing in nearby areas of the site of diversion; like mining projects, displacement of people in submergence area etc. It is further clarified that such resolution would not be required in following cases:

1.            Project requires public hearing in order to get environment clearance. However, a copy of public hearing may be furnished along with the proposal in such cases.

2.            For projects like construction of roads, canals, laying of pipelines/optical fibers and transmission lines etc. where linear diversion of forest land in several villages are involved.

3.            Proposals involving diversion of private forest lands.

4.            In case of small public utility projects like drinking water, schools, hospitals, which are for the welfare of local people.

 Yours faithfully,

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
AIG(FC)

Copy to,

1.                 All Forest Secretaries

2.                 All PCCFs

3.                 All Nodal Officers O/O/PCCF

4.                 All Regional CCFs (Central)

 

 

(V.B. KUMAR)
AIG(FC)

 



HARISH N. SALVE

SOLICITOR GENERAL OF INDIA

18th July, 2000

Dear Shri Sharma,

This has a reference to your letter of 4th July, 2000 relating to the grant of permission to mining activity in National Parks & Sanctuaries.

Section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Act prohibits absolutely, the grant of any permission "by the State Govt." or the Chief Wildlife Warden for any activity which damage the habitat of any wild animal within such sanctuary unless such activity is necessary for the better management of wildlife itself.

A similar prohibition in relation to National Parks is provided for under Section 35(6). Section 38 imposes the same restrictions on the powers of Central Govt. where it declares areas of the National Parks & Sanctuaries.

The context of granting renewal to lease in National Parks & Sanctuaries has to be viewed in this backdrop. In any event, for the present the Supreme Court has imposed an absolute embargo on the removal of even dead and wind-fallen trees etc. from National Parks & Sanctuaries by its order dated 14.02.2000.

I would suggest that wherever a permission is sought you may ask the applicant to first seek clearance of the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court directs the grant of any such permission or even clears the grant of any such permission, then the matter can be considered. This may be the course of prudence to be adopted in this matter.

As regards, the Nagarjunasagar Tail Pond Dam, kindly send me all the papers and we could then have a discussion and a final view taken.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(HARISH N. SALVE)

Sh. S.C. Sharma
Addl. IGF (Wildlife)
Min. of Environment & Forests



F.No. 11-55/2000-FC

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

Dated: 6.9.2000

 

To,
The Principal Secretary (Forests)
Government of M.P.
Bhopal.

Sub:          Notification of Forest Area adjoining the Field Firing Range of Indian Army as safety zone.

 Sir,

I am directed to refer to a letter No.2740 dt. 30.8.2000 received from Nodal Officer, Madhya Pradesh on the above subject wherein a clarification has been sought regarding applicability of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in the forest land/area required as safety zone encompassing the field firing range and danger area zone.

This is to clarify that provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 will not be applicable in the safety zone required in the forest land for the purpose. The Act will be applicable only on such forest land which are actually to be used for field firing practice. Therefore, the State Government may allow issue of the notification by the Collector for the Field Firing Range as per requirement in the instant case if requirement of forest land is only for the safety zone.

However, while giving NOC to Collector for declaration of the Field Firing Range, the State Government/Forest Deptt. may stipulate that the army may take up afforestation in the safety zone area, wherever possible, in the interest of forest conservation and all protective measures will be taken at the time of firing practice and will compensate in case of any damage.

Yours faithfully,

 

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

 

Copy to:-

1.                 The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal.

2.                 Nodal Officer, Office of the PCCF, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal.

3.                 The Chief Conservator of Forest, Regional Office, Bhopal.

4.                 Secretary (Forest), PCCF, Nodal Officer-All States/UTs.

5.                 All ROs.

6.                 Ministry of Defence.

 

 

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

 



F.No. 8-58/98-FC

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

Dated: 6.11.2001

 To,
Col. D.N. Yadav
DGMT (MT-5)
General Staff Branch
Army Headquarters
DHQ PO New Delhi-110011.

Sub:   Use of forest land for field firing ranges by Indian Army - regarding compensatory afforestation under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to this Ministry's letter No.11-9/96-FC dated 7.01.1997 on the above mentioned subject, wherein, detailed guidelines for use of forest land for field firing ranges under the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 were issued. One of the guidelines is that compensatory afforestation will be insisted over degraded forest land equivalent in extent to the 10% of the forest area of field firing range. These guidelines were issued after a joint meeting held in Ministry of Defence on 10.04.1996.

This nominal figure of 10% compensatory afforestation has been kept keeping in view the objectives of the Defence Forces and the fact that impact area is only a small portion of the entire range. Till recently this Ministry has been according clearances to field firing ranges under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for the whole area although the actual impact area/non-forest use was quite small. Recently, while renewing the Narayangarh FFR, Haryana, during the joint inspection with Army Authorities it came to light that actual impact area in the instant proposal was even less than 10% of the whole range.

Accordingly, the Ministry vide letter No.11-55/2000-FC dated 06.09.2000 clarified that Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 would be applicable only on the actual impact area and not on safety zone area. Keeping in view this clarification, the Ministry renewed the 5323 hectare Narayangarh FFR with diversion of only 268.75 ha. forest land (actual impact area). The compensatory afforestation in the instant case was stipulated over 100% of 268.75 ha. degraded forest land instead of on 532.30 ha. degraded forest land as per the earlier guidelines (10% of entire FFR). This new guideline has not only reduced the extent of diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes but also reduced the quantum of compensatory afforestation funds to be paid by the Army Authorities.

Of late, this Ministry has been receiving representations from various approved FFRs, wherein, the above mentioned guideline dated 07.01.1997 and clarification dated 06.09.2000 has been interpreted by Army Authorities as if the compensatory afforestation would be applicable on 10% of the actual impact area. With regard to the above stated detailed explanation, it is to clarify that the proposals which have been approved/received prior to Narayangarh FFR proposal, compensatory afforestation would be levied as per guidelines dated 07.01.1997 while in new proposals compensatory afforestation shall be levied over 100% of the actual impact area.

You are requested to kindly bring this to the notice of all concerned.

Yours faithfully,

 

(R.K. GUPTA
Assistant Inspector General of Forests

 

Copy to:

1.                 Secretary (Forest)/PCCF/Nodal Officer - All States/UTs.

2.                 All Regional Offices.

3.                 DIF(FC), Director(FC), AIGs(FC)

 

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



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS

 No. 11-9/98-FC/3036-M                                                           24/27.8.2001

Shri P.K. Mishra, IFS
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and
Chief Wildlife Warden
Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
M.P. Van Bhawn, Tulsi Nagar
Bhopal 462 003

Subject: Clarification regarding powers conferred on Chief wildlife Warden by Section 33(a) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Ref:-  D.O. Letter no. 3304 dt. 20.8.2001

Sir,

I am directed to refer to the above referred letter in which certain clarifications have been sought from the Ministry. I would like to clarify that Ministry has already given a general permission vide letter no.11-9/98-FC dt. 16.10.2000 for laying of underground telephone lines/optical fibre cables and drinking water supply pipelines under the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 subject to certain conditions. This exemption was not made applicable to National Parks and Sanctuaries in view of Supreme Court order banning felling of trees inside national parks and sanctuaries. If the Chief Wildlife Warden allows laying of such lines along main highways and lines are laid without causing any violation of Section 29 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, the Ministry has no objection from the Forest Conservation Act point of view to the permission given by the State Government.

 Yours faithfully,

 

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

 

cc to all Regional Offices


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN
C.G.O. COMPLEX, LODI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003
TEL.:4360721, 4361896 FAX :(011) 4362746
E-mail: pvj@nic.in

 D.O.No. 1-5/2001-FC                                                            July 6,2001

 Dear Shri

You are aware that the Ministry is giving approval under Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 to the proposals submitted by the State Government for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes. While giving approval, Ministry stipulates certain conditions for forestry and environmental safeguards.

As per the guidelines, framed under the Act, and circulated to the State Governments, all the States/Union Territories are required to set up a cell with a Nodal Officer not below the rank of a Conservator of Forests. The Nodal Officer is not only required to expedite submission of proposals received from the user agencies to the Government of India but also is to act as a link between the State Government and the Central Government in respect of these proposals. Apart from the responsibility assigned in processing of the proposal, the guidelines issued by the Ministry specifies that Nodal Officers will be responsible for monitoring of the conditions stipulated by the Ministry while giving approvals. The Nodal officer is therefore expected to report non-compliance/violation of any of the conditions to the Ministry's Regional Offices for further action.

It has been brought to my notice that the Nodal Officer Cell is not effectively performing its duties especially in respect of monitoring in most of the States. It has also been reported that in many of the States, the Nodal Officers are not full time officers and one of the functional officers holds the additional charge of Nodal Officer.

The non-performance of the Nodal Officer Cell in most of the States is causing us serious concern. May I request you to take necessary action to strengthen the Nodal Officer Cell at the earliest. The Nodal Officer should be given the specific task of handling proposals of forestry clearances and subsequent monitoring of the conditions imposed by the Ministry.

I am also enclosing a proforma, which is in use by the Ministry's Regional offices to submit the monitoring reports. You may like to adopt this proforma with necessary modifications, as deemed fit. It is also requested that a suitable mechanism for monitoring of all the proposals should be developed to begin with and the Nodal Officers should be directed to submit the monitoring reports in respect of all the major proposals that have been approved by the Ministry during the last three years. Thereafter, each and every project should be monitored.

 I look forward to a proactive role by you and your State in the above forestry matters.

 With regards,

 Yours sincerely,

 

(P.V. JAYAKRISHNAN)

 To Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs

 

Encl: As above

 

Copy to:

 

1.                 Secretary (Forst)/PCCF, All States/UTs

2.                 All RCCFs/CF(C)

3.                 Dir.(FC)/AIGs.

 

 

(A.N. PRASAD)

Deputy Inspector General of Forests (FC Division)

 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN
C.G.O. COMPLEX, LODI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003

 No. 11-10/2001-FC                                                                    1.5.01

 Secretary (Forests)
All States

Sub:-  Regarding mortgaging of forest land especially in respect of hydro-electric project to IREDA

 Sir,

You may be aware that Ministry is diverting forest land for non-forestry purposes under the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. While issuing the final approval, Ministry invariably stipulates a condition that legal status of the land will remain unchanged. Ministry has received a reference from the Government of West Bengal seeking permission to allow the user agency to mortgage forest land for taking loan from IREDA. Under the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Ministry permits use of forest land for specific purposes as envisaged in the proposal submitted by the State Government. As per the guidelines issued by this Ministry, this forest land is not to be assigned, mortgaged or leased out by the project authorities to any other agency. The specific issue of mortgaging the forest land to IREDA which is a government agency has also been examined by the Ministry. There is an alternative provision in the financing guidelines issued by the IREDA for cases where the mortgage of land allotted by the State Government is not permissible. State Governments/Project Authorities are advised to take advantage of this provision and the request for mortgage of forest land should not be made to the Ministry as it is violative of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

2.       It is therefore requested that the State Governments should ensure that no forest land is mortgaged or re-assigned or sub-leased. In case it has been done, it must be immediately revoked under intimation to the Ministry and its Regional Offices.

Yours faithfully,