MoEF approves stage-one forest clearance for Kaleshwaram

Forest Advisory Committee gives nod for diversion of 3,168.13 hectares of forest land

October 03, 2017 11:45 pm | Updated 11:47 pm IST - HYDERABAD

In yet another step forward for speeding up the execution of Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has recently given the in-principle stage-one forest clearance to the project with some specific conditions.

In its meeting held on September 21, the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of MoEF has given its nod for diversion of 3,168.13 hectares of forest land for Kaleshwaram Project, subject to the outcome of the litigation pending before the National Green Tribunal/other courts with regard to the project.

The forest land falls in eight divisions – Mahadevpur, Karmingar-Sircilla, Siddipet, Yadadri, Medak, Nizamabad, Banswada and Nirmal. Diversion of the forest land has been necessitated for construction of canala, tunnels, lift systems, surge pools, delivery cisterns and reservoirs as part of the Kaleshwaram Project.

The FAC had agreed for recommending in-principle forest approval to the proposal of Telangana Government on June 16 this year but it was taken up for consideration again on September 21 following the request of the State Government for delinking of forest clearance with the eco-sensitive zone notification and wildlife clearance.

Fixing boundaries

Following the MoEF panel's clearance, the State Government has to fix boundaries of the forest land to be acquired by the Irrigation Department now. After that, the amount calculated by the Forest Department required for compensatory afforestation on the alternative land identified would be deposited with the Forest Department.

Meanwhile, the FAC has also accorded the stage-two forest clearance for diversion of 258.03 hectares forest land required from Kannepalli lift irrigation scheme.

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