CM urges Centre to relax CAMPA norms for State PSUs
Highlighting the difficulties in getting sufficient land under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning (CAMPA) before diversion of forest land, Chief Minister Raghubar Das has requested the Centre to have a relook into the rules.
In a meeting with Union Forest and Environment Minister (Independent Charge) Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Wednesday, the CM drew his attention towards the predicament before the natural habitat rich State.
The CM apprised the Union Minister that 30 per cent of the area of the State is under forest cover and substantial amount of land under the Land Revenue Department attracts forest conservation act.
“We have forest cover over 30 per cent of the total area. And on about 45 per cent land attracts provisions of forest conservation act in the form of jangal-jhari (deemed forest) land or the other. This makes the State totally dependent on the will of the Centre for conducting any developmental activities,” said the CM.
For any diversion of forest land double amount of compensatory land has to be provided to the Forest Department for afforestation purposes. Though for the projects run by the central public sector units there is exemption from providing land and instead monetary cost of land can be deposited.
Nevertheless no such exemption is available for State PSUs or private companies seeking land for non-forest activities. “Most of the mining sites are located at forest land in the State and the provision of compensatory land puts onus on the State to make available the normal land before the diversion takes place. It is when then the entire country gets benefited out of the project,” said an official accompanying the CM in the meeting.
Reacting to this the Union Minister said that the Centre is looking at the issue and the relaxation given to Central PSUs may be extended even to State PSUs as well.
Besides, more activities may be included for the diversion of 5 hectare of forest by the State Government in the naxal-affected districts. The CM also raised acute shortage of senior forest officials in the State on which Javdekar assured for 7-8 more officials in the coming years.
The meeting also saw discussion about reduction of central assistance from cent per cent to 60 per cent coming for tiger projects in the State. Javdekar said that after having consultations with the Finance Ministry the assistance would be restored.
The Union Minister also discussed completion of Kutku Reservoir and said that since 90 per cent irrigation benefits of the project would go to Bihar, the State should make available non-forest land against the diversion. He also sought for timely proposal in this regard.
Besides the CM, his Secretary Sunil Burnwal, Resident Commissioner DK Tiwari, PCCF BC Nigam and top officials of Forests and Environment Ministry were present in the meeting.
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