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Environmental clearance awaited for 118 North-East projects
17 Jan 2017
At least 118 projects in the North-East are pending with the Union environment ministry for forest clearance. As per official data from the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) for the 2013-November 2016 period, 60 per cent of the 118 are road projects. This is despite the Central Government’s push for road projects in the Northeast, which faces serious connectivity problems. Many of these road projects are BRTF’s (Border Road Task Force) projects near the India-China border.
As per reports, of the 118 pending projects, 71 alone are road-related, followed by 38 transmission line projects (32.2 per cent) and nine hydel power projects (7.62 per cent). Among Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – Arunachal Pradesh tops the list with 35 pending projects, followed by 26 pending in Manipur and 25 in Sikkim.
According to the environment ministry, there are several factors behind projects remaining pending – many a times the ministry does not get proper documents to process forest clearances; at times projects remain stuck for want of a nod from village councils and other factors – as per reports.