Karat writes to Minister of Environment about proposed changes to Forest Conservation Law
IPC Chief (M) Brinda Karat wrote to Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav on Wednesday about the proposed amendments to the 1980 Forest (Conservation) Act, saying the changes are designed to ‘ ‘annul’ various Supreme Court judgments related to forest protection and payment of compensation.
The Environment Ministry proposed amending the law to remove the requirement for prior government approval for the development of border infrastructure on forest land, saying it delays the implementation of critical projects.
On October 2, he had solicited suggestions from states, Union territories and all concerned on the consultation document on proposed changes to the law, within the next 15 days.
Karat alleged that the newspaper raises national security issues to allow projects in the name of national security to escape the provisions of the law.
She said the circular only gives 15 days to send out suggestions, not even 30 days as the pre-legislative consultation policy calls for.
“The study of the concrete amendments is all the more necessary since at first reading the proposals seem to be designed to overturn various Supreme Court rulings related to the protection of forests and the payment of the compensation of the net present value (NPV ) and compulsory compensatory afforestation (CA) for diversion of forest land, ”she said in the letter.
“It is noted that whenever a disadvantage is perceived for project promoters using forest land for non-forest purposes, the note proposes to simply forgo the application of FCA,” Karat said.
The CPI politburo member (M) said that given the context of the privatization of infrastructure projects that require forest land, the proposals will not only “facilitate” the takeover of forest land, but make it less important. expensive and easier for companies intending to take the ‘benefits of privatization’. ” This also includes mining companies whose mining sector is open to takeover by domestic and foreign companies. which underlies the points raised in the note, which we oppose as they are more concerned with protecting private interests and projects than with addressing environmental concerns, ”Karat said.
The proposals tend to dilute the rights of states to notify forests, thereby further centralizing authority within central government. Further centralization is another reason to oppose the proposals, ” the letter said.
The senior leader also pointed out that the consultation document does not mention anything about protecting the rights of tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers while the proposed changes have a direct impact on the rights granted under the 2006 Law on Forest People. forest rights.
The aim of the consultation note is to relax the definition of forests, protected forests, reputable forests, etc. residents. This is the third reason to oppose the proposals because the note is completely silent on the protection of the rights granted by law to tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers, ” the letter reads.
This is a specious argument because national security concerns can and should be met according to the requirements of the law. I ask you not to go ahead with these proposals as they are nothing but liberalization to favor private interests at the expense of the interests of tribal communities, traditional forest dwellers and environmental concerns. ” , he added.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)