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

Nikhil M Ghanekar | IndiaSpend New Delhi

Representative Image

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 this land, according to railway and environment ministry documents accessed by IndiaSpend under the Right to Information Act.

Also Read

Modi govt's move to amend Forest Act takes a giant leap backwards

Stay on forest dwellers eviction: How states illegally rejected land claims

A Rs 56,000-cr afforestation fund threatens India's indigenous communities

Environmental matters for government

Top wildlife scientists ask for cancellation of SC tribal eviction order

Mumbai rains in pictures: Downpour after dry spell throws city out of gear

Heavy rains lash Mumbai after dry spell, IMD says downpour to continue

Explained: Why India should not enhance its climate targets at UNSG Summit

As SC hearing nears, Adivasis recall evictions that led to Forest Act

Over 28,000 species are officially threatened, with more likely to come

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

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers. Already a BS Premium subscriber?LOGIN NOW

Register to