Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coal Mining in Forest Areas in Madhya Pradesh
Use of forest land for non-forest purpose, including coal mining, requires prior approval of Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Central Government so far accorded 59 final approvals involving diversion of 10,416.57 hectares of forest land and 15 in-principle approvals involving diversion of 3,360.164 hectares of forest land in Madhya Pradesh for coal mining.

Coal mining does affect the environment, forests and wildlife in and around the coal mines. Central Government therefore, while according approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for mining projects stipulates appropriate measures to mitigate impacts of mining on forests, wildlife and environment. Important among them are transfer and mutation of equivalent non-forest land in favour of State Forest Department (SFD) for creation of compensatory afforestation from the funds to be provided by the user agency; notification of such non-forest land transferred in favour of the SFD as Reserved Forest/ Protected Forest; realization of Net Present Value (NPV) of the diverted forest land from the concerned user agency for execution of appropriate activities for conservation, protection and management of forests and wildlife, realization of funds from the user agencies for preparation and execution of appropriate plans for conservation and development of wildlife in and around the forest land proposed to be diverted for non-forest purposes.

The above information was laid in the Parliament by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan. 

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