Bamboo center hijacked 3.98 ha of forest land without asking for a blink of an eye | Nagpur News
Nagpur: The Forestry Department, which is the custodian of the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980, and is supposed to set an example for others, has itself violated the FCA by building units on the Bamboo Research Training Center ( BRTC) without searching the forest. authorisation.
Information has been requested under the Right to Information Act (RTI) as to whether the Bamboo Arts and Crafts Unit (BHAU) and the Vacuum Impregnation Plant (VPI) were installed for bamboo processing at the BRTC in Chichpalli, near Chandrapur.
The world-class BRTC is built on a 4.99 hectare (ha) zudpi jungle land for which Stage II clearance was granted under the FCA by the state government on March 9, 2017. However, under the cover of a 4.99 ha permit, the BHAU and VPI were built in the BRTC backyard on an additional 3.98 ha of forest land in 2017.
Under the FCA, any forest land diverted for non-forest purposes must be cleared under section 2 of the law. The project proponent must pay the net present value (NPV) of forest land that is diverted for non-forest purposes. It depends on the type and quality of the forests.
The RTI revealed that no deforestation had been requested under FCA Article 2 for 3.98 ha for BHAU and VPI – an area equivalent to four football fields – implying a violation of the ordinances of the Supreme Court by BRTC Director and Deputy Forestry Conservator (DyCF) Rahul Patil. Although RTI’s response does not mention his name, Patil was in charge of BRTC affairs in 2017 when the units were created.
RTI’s response said: “The process of requesting deforestation for 3.98 ha of forest land is underway.” Thus, the two units were built four years ago but the clearing proposal is being processed.
In a previous RTI request by Nagpur-based social activist Ishwar Gajbe, it was revealed that BRTC had violated the Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act, 1974, the Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act and Pollution Control), 1981 and Hazardous and Other Wastes (Transboundary Management and Movements), 2018 by not obtaining the consent of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) before operating the VPI unit.
“We have applied for the required permissions,” said RTI’s response. However, even after a year, permission was not requested.
Action against FCA violation
* Anyone who contravenes or encourages the contravention of one of the provisions of article 2, will be punished by simple imprisonment for a period of up to 15 days.
* The manual of guidelines for effective and transparent implementation of FCA provisions indicates that in cases where the proposal has not been submitted and forest land is diverted without FC for non-forest purposes, the State will be dealt with under the provisions of the Indian Forest Act of 1977 and other acts of the State.
* The land in question will not be considered misappropriated under the FCA and the status of the land will continue to be forest
* If the authorization to use forest land has been granted by the state authority without the prior approval of the Center, then action under section 3A or 3B of the FCA must be taken against the ‘authority
* The MoEFCC regional office will conduct a formal survey