Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding diversion of forest land for construction of certain projects, Himachal Pradesh, 09/12/2021

  • 09/12/2021

Order of the Supreme Court of India In Re: T. N. Godavarman Thirumulpad Vs Union of India & Others dated 09/12/2021.

The application was filed by the state of Himachal Pradesh seeking permission for diversion of forest land under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for construction of certain projects like roads, electric projects, airport, anaj mandi and subji mandi, college buildings, hospital and bus stand. State of Himanchal Pradesh is seeking a further direction for diversion of forest land under Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional forest Dwellers (Recognition Of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 for construction of 54 projects.

A recommendation has been made by CEC for clearance of the above mentioned projects. CEC further recommended that in respect of the projects falling under the FRA, permission can be granted to schools and other minor water bodies, rain water harvesting structures and dispensaries.

With regard to 47 roads A.D.N. Rao, Amicus Curiae submitted that clearance can be granted provided they are not part of the linear project. In other words, roads for a short distance connecting the main roads or otherwise can be cleared.

The clearance of the aforementioned projects is subject to the state of Himachal Pradesh taking steps for identification of land for reafforestation as per the earlier directions of the Court. The SC directed Himachal Pradesh to file an affidavit giving particulars of the land identified for re-afforestation and the steps taken in accordance with law for the reafforestation.