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Supreme Court Permits State Of Himachal Pradesh To Divert Forest Land For Public Projects

Shruti Kakkar
13 Dec 2021 12:25 PM GMT
Supreme Court Permits State Of Himachal Pradesh To Divert Forest Land For Public Projects
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The Supreme Court recently permitted the State of Himachal Pradesh for diversion of forest land under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 ('FCA') for construction of certain projects.The bench of Justices LN Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna was considering an application wherein the State had also sought further direction for diversion of forest land under Scheduled Tribes and other...

The Supreme Court recently permitted the State of Himachal Pradesh for diversion of forest land under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 ('FCA') for construction of certain projects.

The bench of Justices LN Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna was considering an application wherein the State had also sought further direction for diversion of forest land under Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional forest Dwellers (Recognition Of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 ('FRA') for construction of 54 projects.

While granting permission for diversion of forest land for public projects, the bench said that the same was subject to the State of Himachal Pradesh taking steps for identification of land for re afforestation as per the earlier directions of this Court.

The bench in its order also considered that the application for permission of diversion of forest land for public purpose had been examined by the CEC and that the CEC had made some recommendations for granting clearance.

It further noted that:

  • CEC recommended that in respect of the projects falling under the FRA, permission could be granted to schools and other minor water bodies, rain water harvesting structures and dispensaries.
  • With regards to 47 roads mentioned under the FRA, the bench also considered Senior Advocate ADN Rao's (amicus curiaesubmission that clearance could be granted with regards to roads for a short distance connecting the main roads.

The Court also noted that although on March 11, 2019 it had stayed felling of trees even in cases where approval had been given by the DFOS but remarked that exercise of power by DFOS under the FRA was a point for consideration at a future date.

Directions were also issued to the State to file an affidavit giving particulars of the land identified and the steps taken in accordance with law for the reafforestation.

Case Title: IN RE : T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad V. Union Of India And Ors.| Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s).202/1995

Click Here To Read/Download Order



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