By Mayank Aggarwal
The panel will look at allotment of wagons for movement of surplus timber from northeast to other parts of the country
New Delhi: In order to regulate movement of timber from the northeast to other parts of India, the union environment ministry has formed a new committee to look into the matter and develop a new procedure if needed.
According to a notification (dated 27 February), the committee was formed under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, in accordance with an order of the Supreme Court.
The committee named the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of environment ministry’s regional office in Shillong as chairman, representatives from two north-eastern states (by rotation) as members, representative from the ministry of railways (North-Eastern Region) as member and the Conservator of Forests of environment ministry’s regional office in Shillong as the member secretary.
According to the notification, the regulatory panel will look at “allotment of wagons for movement of surplus timber from northeastern part of the country to other parts of the country” and also at addition or deletion of railway stations for loading of timber in the northeastern states.
As per the terms of reference, the committee will also develop “a new hassle-free procedure, including online system, while ensuring that provisions of law are adhered to” regarding the movement of timber.
Forest-rich northeastern India is one of 18 biodiversity hotspots of the world.
The notification by the Harsh Vardhan-led ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) is significant as the northeastern region with just 7.98% of the country’s geographical area, accounts for nearly one-fourth of India’s forest cover of 708,273 square km.