Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 came in to force with effect from October 25, 1980. Under the provisions of this Act, prior approval of the Central Government is essential for diversion of forest lands for the non-forestry purposes. In the national interest and in the interest of future generations, this Act, therefore, regulates the diversion of forest lands to non forestry purposes. The basic objective of the Act is, to regulate the indiscriminate diversion of forest lands for non forestry uses and to maintain a logical balance between the developmental needs of the country and the conservation of natural heritage. The, guidelines have been issued under the Act from time to time, to simplify the procedures, to cut down delays and to make the Act more user friendly. To ensure this, rules under this Act have been framed and notified on 10/1/2003 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and further amended in year 2004 & 2014.
To ensure that the proposals seeking grant of forest clearance are processed in time-bound and transparent manner, a web portal (www.forestclearance.nic.in) for online submission and monitoring of proposals seeking prior approval of Central government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 has been launched by Ministry on 15th July 2014. The portal will minimize the need for human interface between project proponents and official dealing with Forest Clearance proposals in the Central and the State Governments. The portal will enable real time monitoring of the Forest Clearance proposals so as to ensure that time-lines stipulated for processing of these proposals by various authorities in the Central and State Governments are adhered to. The portal also has inbuilt features to ensure that proposals complete in all respect only are accepted. Valuable time will thus not be lost to seek and obtain additional information, once a proposal seeking Forest Clearance has already been accepted by concerned authority in the State Government.