Infrastructure Along the LAC Could Treble in Pace Due to New Forest Laws

The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill,2023 which provides exemption for constructions on forest land, has been approved by the Lok Sabha in June 2023. This amendment aims to offer benefits to various strategic projects situated in proximity to the borders.

A comprehensive plan has been developed to establish a network of 37 roads, covering a distance of approximately 1,200 kilometres, with the objective of connecting Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). All these projects are expected to receive substantial benefits. Upon the implementation of the amendments, work will promptly commence on all of these projects.

Obtaining forest clearance involves a time-consuming and arduous procedure. Firstly, it is necessary for the state administration and the authority to conduct a joint survey which is contingent upon their respective availability. Afterwards, the revenue department gets involved. Following this, the state committee meets once or twice a year to thoroughly review and scrutinize all documents prior to granting approval. After receiving approval from the state, the document is then forwarded to the central government. The Forest Ministry subsequently carries out another examination. Hence, this entire procedure requires a substantial amount of time. By implementing this Amendment Bill, the time and effort required to obtain a Forest Clearance Certificate will be reduced. This will allow for a greater emphasis on the planning and execution process.