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Road ministry extends help to PWDs to obtain green nod for NH projects

NEW DELHI: Now state agencies such as Public Works Departments (PWDs) building National Highways on ..

NEW DELHI: Now state agencies such as Public Works Departments (PWDs) building National Highways on behalf of the Centre can undertake compensatory afforestation on “degraded forest land” rather than searching for “non forest” areas in lieu of forest land being diverted for NH projects.
This would fast-track the widening of NHs across states, road ministry officials said. Degraded forest lands are those parcels, which have lost their forest cover due to natural calamities such as flood, fire, excessive grazing or encroachment.
In a recent communication to states, the ministry has said a special dispensation has been provided for the Central government projects in departure from the general norms wherein afforation in degraded forest land is allowed in lieu of non-forest land.
The ministry has asked PWDs to enter the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) as the user agency while applying online for diversion of forest land for NH projects.
While these projects are developed and maintained by the Centre, state agencies carry out the construction on behalf of MoRTH.
The road ministry came out with this advisory after holding discussion with the environment and forest ministry and taking note of cases where some of the states and forest authorities were insisting on non-forest land for afforestation in lieu of forest land diversion.
A government agency needs to carry out afforestation on non-forest land equivalent to the area impacted by forest land diversion. But it increases two-fold in case the afforestation is carried out on degraded forest land.
At a recently held meeting of infrastructure ministers, Union road transport minister NitRead More – Source

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