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Forest clearance mechanism for refurbished

By Correspondent

ITANAGAR, July 1 � Arunachal Pradesh has apparently got a major shot in the arm on hydropower front with the Centre refurbishing the entire clearance mechanism so as to speed up the implementation of hydropower projects in the strategically located border State.

This was stated by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment & Forests Prakash Javedekar when Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki met him in New Delhi on Monday.

The Union Minister also told the Chief Minister that Arunachal Pradesh, along with the other North-eastern States, is a priority and that his ministry is in the process of overhauling the entire clearance mechanism so as to speed up the implementation of hydropower projects.

Javedekar said that he is expediting the forest clearance of the 3,000 MW Dibang Hydropower Project and is also formulating a new policy mechanism for proper disbursal of CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority) funds.

Tuki, on behalf of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, expressed gratefulness to the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests for the Centre�s decision to exempt environmental clearances for road projects within 100 Km of the international border.

The Union Minister told Tuki that a decision to extend this norm to other infrastructure development projects is under active consideration of the Union Environment Ministry.

Earlier, Tuki apprised Javedekar of the bottlenecks faced by the State government in implementation of the hydropower projects, especially in obtaining forest clearances and other technical approvals.

In a detailed representation submitted to Javedekar, he highlighted the policy interventions required with reference to environmental flow issue and land disbursal issues, among others.

The Chief Minister reiterated the broader objective of harnessing the hydropower sector in the State for the benefit of the entire country and called for easing of existing norms and procedures of MoEF.

�The State intends to increase the forest cover to 90 per cent by stepping up afforestation/reforestation programmes under �Green India Mission� as mitigative measures against climate change. These measures to be taken up by the State government shall benefit the country and humanity as a whole,� he asserted.

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