Forest clearance must for Melghat railway line: State

Forest clearance must for Melghat railway line: State

Though South Central Railway (SCR) has sent detailed estimates to Railway Board for converting Akola-Khandwa (176km) narrow gauge line into broad gauge through Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR), the state forest department has written to MoEFCC that Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, will be applicable to the project. Of the 176km, 39km section between Akot-Amlakhurd section passes through the tiger reserve and its buffer zone.

“Based on Attorney General of India (AGI) opinion, Railway Board has conveyed to us on June 19, that FCA came into existence in 1980 and the railway line was constructed in 1959, hence FCA was not applicable.

Accordingly, we have sent estimates to the board,” said M Umashankar Kumar, chief public relations officer (CPRO), SCR, on Thursday.

Refusing to go into details, he said the work will be done through tiger reserve only as alternative line will escalate the cost immensely.  Read More

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