Jairam Ramesh hits out at Forest Rights Act

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The former Union Minister praised the NGT for its work and asked for its autonomy from the government.

Bangalore, April 13, 2018: Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh criticized the current Forest Rights Act, and blamed his party’s government in Karnataka for the sand mining issue.

Speaking on the ‘New draft forest policy and deteriorating state of environment in India,’ Ramesh said that the Forest Rights Act is an important act to redress people’s grievances, though it has failed in the community forest areas. He also said that it is dividing the environment community due to non-consensus on laws and policies.

The event was also attended by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda and Environment Support Group coordinator Leo Saldanha.

Saldhana said the public is getting confused about the concept of development by mega development projects and rapid industrialisation.

India is one of the three countries in the world to have a National Green Tribunal (NGT). The tribunal has been heavily active in making sure the environment in the country is safe.

The Tribunal recently hit out at the Karnataka government for the poor conditions of lakes, and also fined Delhi with Rs. 50,000 for failing to provide it with a list of restaurants that permit smoking hookahs on their premises.

Lauding the NGT, Ramesh attacked the last years’ Finance Act, stating it tried to dilute the powers of the Tribunal. He further added that the organisation should be independent from the government in order for it to work efficiently.

Putting political rivalry aside, he also appreciated the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s government for its 2020 clean fuel and clean cooking initiative.

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  2. Half of India’s forests, literally ‘no-go’ areas for industry, will be opened up for coal mining. This is the first major step in the elaborate blueprint for change in the country’s environment policies that the Narendra Modi Government plans to roll out fast. The message to the environment ministry is clear-facilitate, mediate, but don’t obstruct.

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