The day after Karat’s letter, the CPI deputy asks for more time to give his opinion on the proposed changes to the forestry law
Kerala ICC MP Rajya Sabha Binoy Viswam wrote to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Thursday asking him to extend the deadline for public comments on the proposed changes to the Law on Forest Conservation (1980) which the ministry released earlier this week.
Viswam stressed that the proposed changes be translated into 22 languages to allow everyone to respond and that the deadline be extended by 12 weeks for public consultation.
The ministry had given a deadline of 15 days for the submission of comments. The proposed changes have so far only been published in English.
Viswam’s letter comes a day after CPI (M) Political Bureau member Brinda Karat wrote to Yadav, requesting an extension of the 30-day deadline.
“As a subject that directly affects the lives of indigenous peoples of India and the conservation of extremely vital natural resources, it is essential to extend the deadline for the same,” Viswam wrote, adding that local public consultations must take place as it affects communities across the country.
Alleging that the proposals were made in the interest of private parties, Karat wrote: “The proposals appear to be designed to overturn various Supreme Court rulings related to forest protection and payment of present value compensation. net (NPV) and compulsory compensatory afforestation (CA) for the diversion of forest land. It should be noted that wherever a “disadvantage” is perceived for the promoters of projects using forest land for non-forest purposes, the note proposes simply to waive the application of the FCA. Given the context of privatization of infrastructure projects that require forest land, the proposals will not only facilitate the takeover of forest land, but make it cheaper and easier for companies, who intend to reap the benefits of forest land. privatisation.
“This also includes mining companies, as the mining sector is open to takeover by domestic and foreign companies. This is what underlies the points raised in the note, which we oppose because they are more concerned with protecting private interests and projects than with responding to environmental concerns.
Karat added that the proposals tend to dilute states’ rights to notify forests, thereby further centralizing authority. She said the proposals do not address the issue of the rights of tribal communities and forest dwellers.