SC allows diversion of forest land for public welfare projects in Himachal Pradesh

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday allowed diversion of forest land in Himachal Pradesh for carrying out certain public welfare projects.

The apex court allowed the diversion of forest land for projects like Hydro Electric Projects, national highways, Indian Institute of Technology, Degree College, Model School, construction of electric substations etc.

“ It can be deciphered that some of the reliefs sought by the State of Himachal Pradesh can be straight away granted and some other reliefs can be granted subject to certain clearances. The projects for which permission may be granted and projects which can be permitted subject to certain conditions,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian noted.

The bench noted that First project of Green Corridor National Highway is in two parts, for each of which separate final approval has been granted under Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act, by Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The top court adjourned for 12 weeks, the application seeking to carry out silviculture felling of Khair (Acacia catechu) trees in the forests areas of the State in accordance with the approved working plans.

It directed the committee to examine the contents of the application while filing its further report regarding result of Silviculture operations already undertaken. PTI PKS RKS RKS