The Central Government has notified the date on which the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023 shall come into force. This notification was issued on 2nd November, 2023.
The notification fixes 1st December 2023 as the date on which the provisions of this Act will come into force.
The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023 takes note of India’s rich tradition of preserving forests and their bio-diversity. It, therefore, envisages enhancing forest based economic, social and environmental benefits, including improvement of livelihoods or forest dependent communities.
Pertinently the Amendment Act exempts certain categories of land from its purview. These are as follows:
- Forest land situated alongside a rail line or a public road maintained by the Government, which provides access to a habitation, or to a rail, an roadside amenity up to a maximum size of 0.10 hectare in each case.
- Forest land situated within a distance of one hundred Kilometeres along international borders or Line of Control or Line of Actual Control, as the case may be, proposed to be used for construction of strategic linear project of national importance and concerning national security.
- Up to ten hectares of forest land proposed to be used for construction of security related infrastructure.
- Forest land proposed to be used for construction of defence related project or a camp for paramilitary forces or public utility projects, as maybe specified by the Central Government, the extent of which does not exceed five hectares in a Left Wing Extremism affected area as may be notified by the Central Government.