At a meeting today with the officers of Forest and Irrigation Departments, Chief Secretary I.Y.R. Krishna Rao has reviewed on the Forest Clearances for Irrigation Projects in the State.
The Chief Secretary said Stage-I approval has already been given and Stage-II was pending for forest clearances to the Irrigation Projects. The Special Chief Secretary, Forest Department, was requested to take action for clearance of works as per the guidelines of Government of Indian so that work can start wherever huge chunks of lands are available for compensatory afforestation.
Since most of the revenue lands or either assigned lands or required for a number of other purposes and certain stretchers were unsuitable and it was decided that in view of large chunks of lands can be accessed in terms of compensatory afforestation for degraded forest lands.
The Irrigation Department is requested to send the requirements for the projects and send it across to the Forest Department to identify degraded lands for coming up with compensatory afforestation proposals.
In the following projects the compensatory afforestation land has already been identified for Gorakallu Reservoir Project and necessary proposals are pending at the Forest Department level which needs to be expedited.
For the other Projects Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS) Project – 3000 Ha., Somasila-Swarnamukhi 1080 Ha., Chintalapudi 2704 Ha., and Tarakarama Theertha Sagaram 4 Ha. Land needs to be identified for compensatory afforestation and want of which the cases are pending.
Chief Secretary told that a decision was taken to identify the normal revenue land for Tarakarama Theertha Sagar Project and degraded forest lands for other projects mentioned above for this purpose.
Chief Secretary issued instructions to the Irrigation Department to send proposals immediately to Forest Department in all these cases accordingly for identification of degraded forest lands to be proposed for compensatory afforestation and for getting the forest lands de-reserved for the purpose of taking up of the projects.
A.K. Parida Spl. CS, EFS&T informed that it would be easier to get the clearances if only reserved forests, the water is carried through pipelines instead of on open canals and it was decided that it should be a good idea for implementation in two – three other reasons since the land above will be useful for other purposes and the maintenance charges will also be less.
It was decided in all these proposals the Department will come up with proposals to reserved forests instead of through an open canal. The Department was also requested to explore the possibilities for carrying water through pipelines in other areas also since that would facilitate using of land without any hindrance and would also be helpful in avoiding evaporation losses.
A.K. Parida, IAS., Spl. Chief Secretary, Environment, Forest, Science & Technology Department, Aditya N Das, Prl. Secretary, Irrigation Dept., A.V. Joseph, IFS, Prl. Chief Conservator Forests and others attended the meeting. (NSS)