CPI’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala Binoy Viswam on Thursday wrote to Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav requesting him to extend the deadline for public comments. Proposed Amendments to the Forest Conservation Act (1980) Which was made public by the ministry earlier this week.
Viswam insisted that the proposed amendments be translated into 22 languages so that everyone can respond and that the deadline for public consultations be extended to 12 weeks.
The ministry had given 15 days to submit the feedback. The proposed amendments have so far been published only in English.
Viswam’s letter comes a day after CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat wrote to Yadav, requesting an extension of the time limit by 30 days.
“As a subject that directly affects the lives of the indigenous peoples of India and the conservation of extremely important natural resources, it is necessary to extend the time frame,” Viswam wrote. communities across the country.
Alleging that the proposals were made in the interest of private parties, Karat wrote, “The proposal seeks to undo various Supreme Court judgments relating to protection of forests and payment of Net Present Value Compensation (NPV) and compensatory afforestation. Appears to be designed. ca) Mandatory for diversion of forest land. It is observed that wherever any ‘discomfort’ is felt for project proponents using forest land for non-forest purposes, the note only proposes to waive the application of FCA. In the context of privatization of infrastructure projects, which require forest land, the proposals will not only facilitate acquisition of forest land, but will also make it cheaper and easier for corporates seeking to take advantage of privatization.
“It also includes mining companies with the mining sector seeking acquisitions by domestic and foreign companies. This is the basis for the points raised in the note, which we oppose because they are more concerned with protecting private interests and projects than about addressing environmental concerns. “
Karat further said that the proposals have a tendency to dilute the powers of states to notify forests thereby further centralizing the authority. He said the resolutions do not address the issue of rights of tribal communities and forest dwellers.