News Brief

Amid Stand-Off With China, Modi Government Speeds Up Construction Of Border Roads With This Move

Abhay Rathore

Jul 26, 2023, 05:51 PM | Updated 12:10 AM IST

An Indian border road. (Twitter)
An Indian border road. (Twitter)

The Lok Sabha passed a bill today (26 July) that aims to exclude land within 100 km of the country's borders, from forest conservation laws.

This bill also allows for the establishment of zoos, safaris, and eco-tourism facilities in forest areas.

The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill-2023 was approved after a brief debate, with Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav providing responses.

Following the bill's passage, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day as opposition members continued to protest against the ethnic violence in Manipur.

The bill amends the Forest (Conservation) Act and provides exemptions for certain types of land. These exemptions include forest land along government-maintained rail lines or public roads that provide access to habitats, as well as roadside amenities up to a maximum size of 0.10 hectare.

Forest land within 100 km of the international borders, Line of Control, or Line of Actual Control will be exempted.

This exemption applies to land that is intended for the construction of strategic linear projects of national importance or security.

The exemption also includes land up to 10 hectare for the construction of security-related infrastructure.

It also applies to land intended for the construction of defence-related projects, camps for paramilitary forces, or public utility projects specified by the central government. However, this exemption cannot exceed five hectare in an area affected by left-wing extremism.

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