Today's Paper

AP fast-tracks forest survey to meet Centre’s deadline

The AP Forest Department is racing against time to plug the gaps in its bid to secure denotification of 19,000 hectares of reserve forest land in Krishna and Guntur districts so that it can be used for the Amaravati capital city project. “The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has agreed in principle for diversion of 19,000 hectares of land to the capital city infrastructure projects. But it pointed out certain gaps in the laid-down procedure: identification of the exact extent of land to be afforested in lieu of the denotified reserve forest area and a digital survey of that forest land.

Highly placed sources said forest staff are working to complete the survey and furnish all information to MoEF by the end of November. Forest land has been identified for diversion in 41 blocks -- 28 in Krishna and 13 in Guntur. In lieu of the reserve forest land sought to be denotified, the government has also to identify barren land for compensatory afforestation.