Arunachal government taking steps to de-reserve forests for development: minister
Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh government has ordered the deputy commissioners of the 26 districts to draw up a list of reserve areas and submit it to the state government so that permission can be withdrawn from the Supreme Court for the deposition. -reservation of forest areas, said Minister of Forestry and Environment Mama Natung briefed the State Assembly on Wednesday.
Emphasizing that the state government is seriously considering de-reservation of forest areas to foster development in Arunachal Pradesh, the Minister said that we will need to obtain permission from the Supreme Court for the de-reservation of areas forests.
The state government or the Center have no say in the de-reservation of forest areas as the matter is up to the Supreme Court, Natung said.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment of November 13, 2000, declared that pending new orders, no de-reservation of forests, sanctuaries and national parks would be affected.
The minister was responding to a short-lived discussion on forest de-reservation and the issue of the net present value (NPV) of forest areas by state user agencies” raised by BJP MP Gabriel Denwang Wangsu.
Even if the supreme court authorizes the de-reservation, the state government must pay compensation in the amount of Rs 17 lakh per hectare for reforestation, as set by an expert committee constituted by the supreme court, Natung said. .
Arunachal Pradesh has three categories of forest very dense forest, dense forest and open forest – and accordingly net present values have been set per category by the committee, the minister said.
Beginning the discussion, Wangsu said that 25 years have passed since the state’s logging ban in 1995, and there has been no tangible effort to convince the Supreme Court of the need to lift the ban for the uprising of the tribes, in particular.
Noting that all state land is owned by the community or clan, Wangsu said, if a user agency has to pay the NPV once to the government and then another time to the villagers who hold traditional ownership of that land, this amounts to making payments twice. for the same land.
This makes the projects unviable and costly and hence investors run away and show no interest in investing in mega projects in the state, the BJP MP said.
Despite all these challenges such as difficulties in town planning and lack of development works due to the delay in Forest Conservation Act (FCA) clearances, Arunachal Pradesh is not asking for de-reservation of these forests. notified disputed listed.
Instead, people are looking for an amicable solution where the truly isolated high-altitude pristine forest areas, which act as watersheds and reservoirs of carbon for sequestration, could be preserved while the equivalent area of reported forests in lowland areas including densely populated cities could be developed by the government according to development needs, Wangsu added.
This is the right time to approach the Center to inform the Courts of Justice of the predicament of the tribal population with regard to habitable, cultivable and plain areas near towns and villages to have been reserved for the instead of verdant virgin forests at higher elevations, he pointed out.
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