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How exemption of 13 railway projects puts wildlife sanctuaries at risk

The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 prohibits the use of any forest land for non-forest activities


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Nikhil M Ghanekar | IndiaSpend New Delhi
India’s environment ministry has exempted 13 pending railway projects, worth Rs 19,400 crore ($2.8 billion) and spread over 800 hectares of land, from the process of seeking forest permits, according to official documents.

These clearances could adversely impact a national park, a tiger reserve, a tiger corridor and wildlife sanctuaries across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa.

The railway ministry, including minister of railways Piyush Goyal, and the Railway Board, argued that this land was owned by the railways before 1980, the year the Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA), was passed, and so the Act did not apply to

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First Published: Jul 27 2019 | 11:53 AM IST

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