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Khanduri calls for simplification of provisions under Forest Act

Staff Correspondent

For ‘judicious’ conversion of forest land for development activities



Departments involved in development activities asked to consult forest officials

“The seniors should ensure that concerned officials participate in the survey work”



DEHRA DUN: The Uttarakhand Chief Minister, B.C. Khanduri has called for the immediate simplification of provisions under the Forest Conservation Act so that forest land could be judiciously converted for use for development activity including non polluting industries.

Speaking at a meeting to review provisions of the Forest Act vis-a-vis development of the State over the weekend, Mr Khanduri said that Uttarakhand was a hill State with very little non- forest land. He urged the departments involved in development activities to consult forest officials while framing schemes so that lesser problems arose when it came to seeking sanctions from the Central Government.

The Chief Minister wanted activities like collection of stones, boulders, sand and other minerals to be done in the middle of the rivers and not the banks so that erosion of prime agricultural land along the banks could be prevented.

He wanted the officials to use the term ‘treatment’ in place of ‘lifting’ of material from river beds so that the contractors were clear that they were supposed to treat the river bed by picking up material from the centre and not the banks.

Mr Khanduri wanted the top officials to declare a date for survey of sites for development activities and ask all concerned departments including forests to participate so that no confusion of controversy occurred at a later date. “The seniors should ensure that concerned officials participated in the survey work and raised objections if any there itself”, Mr Khanduri said.

Maintenance

A number of concerned citizen urged Mr Khanduri to ensure that all departments were made responsible for the maintenance of roads to avoid the practice of digging up roads for water, sewer or telephone lines immediately after a road stretch was made.

“This singular practice as followed in many places in the South could save wastage of public funds”, said Uma Kant Upadhyay and Sarita Nautiyal.

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