Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gujarat govt transfers 345 hectares forest land to industries.

By our correspondent
Gandhinagar, DeshGujarat, 5 July, 2009

The Government of Gujarat yesterday decided to de-notify hundreds of hectares of state forest land in four sanctuary areas-the Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Rann of Kutch, Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary and Narayan Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. De-notification was in agenda of Gujarat Wildlife Board meeting presided by Chief minister Narendra Modi. Influential industrial houses had their way and the board led by Chief Minister Modi approved transfer of forest land to industries. This decision will result into a severe threat of industrial and human activity in Gujarat’s forest areas.

The board approved diversion of 89.74 hectare land in the Wild Ass Sanctuary for the power transmission line of Adani Power Ltd and 241.59 hectare land for Power Grid Corporation’s transmission lines. The board also approved diversion of 7.28 hectare land for Usha Breco Ltd for ropeway construction in Girnar Sanctuary; 4.40 hectare land from Velavadar black buck Sanctuary for Gujarat State Road Development Corporation (GSRDC) for construction of a six-lane Sarkhej-Vataman-Bhavnagar central spine road; 0.315 ha land diversion for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for laying of fibre optic lines in Balaram-Ambaji Sanctuary, 0.45 ha land diversion for Vodafone Gujarat Limited for laying of fibre optics in Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary and 0.45 ha land diversion for Reliance Communication Gujarat Ltd in Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary. The proposal passed by the state government will now be sent to the National Wildlife Board and the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to be forwarded to the apex court for final approval.

Other decisions taken in the meeting are following.

-The government will encourage tribal people to plant ten trees on the occasion of child birth in their family. The family would be awarded ownership of that tree which can ultimately provide income to the tribal family. The Forest department would design a project about this.

-Gir sanctuary will get Garlanding road project, Lion breeding strategy and Leo-Gen laboratory for genetic research about the Asiatic Lion.

-1939 hectares area of Gir sanctuary will be released and 2141 hectare forest area will be added.

-Gujarat government will celebrate Jeevdaya week to celebrate Paryushan, a Jain festival.

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