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Forest Clearance For Rail

Bhubaneswar: On request of the State Government, Centre has given Stage-I forest clearance for diversion of 716.496 hectares of forest land for six railway projects in Odisha.  

This was informed by State Forest Environment and Climate change Minister Pradip Kumar Amat in the State Assembly on Tuesday.

Replying to a question of senior BJD lawmaker Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, the Minister said the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change has in-principle approved diversion of 2811.565 hectares of forest land for execution of 29 railway projects in the state.

Stage-I clearance has been given for diversion of 716.946 hectares of forest land with certain conditions while Stage-II clearance would be given after the conditions mentioned in the approval letter are fully implemented, Amat said.

In addition to it, the agencies concerned are requested to submit required documents and maps to apply for diversion of 972.962 hectares of forest land required for execution of 12 proposed railway projects, he said.

Amat said the proposed Talcher-Bimlagarh (0-to 25 KM) Railway line has obtained the final approval of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on February 16, 2016.

As per the conditions laid down while giving the approval, the process for the handing over the forest land will begin after non-forest land was handed over to the railway.

Divisional Forest Office, Angul has been requested to hand over 22.014 hectares of revenue forest land to railway out of the 24.014 hectares of forest land that had already been handed over to the railway, the Minister informed the House.

Similarly, Talcher- Bimlagarh railway line (from 25 KM to 153.90 KM) project has also received the final approval of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in June 2020.

Out of the 244.623 hectares of forest land required for second phase of the railway line project, 186.257 hectares of forest land have been handed over to railway and Collectors of Angul & Sundargarh have been requested to hand over the remaining 58.366 hectares of land to the railway, the Minister added.