Bhubaneswar: Several new railway, thermal power and other projects in the state are now hanging in balance due to several factors, one among them is the lack of approval for the diversion of forest lands in these areas where the proposals have been made for the new projects.
A recent statement of the state government, as submitted before the Odisha Assembly, claimed that a total of 13 such new projects are hanging in balance for the need of forest land diversion. Several of them are stuck at different levels of the approval process, the statement of the government said.
One among the pending project is related to the National Thermal Power Corporation’s Darlipali Super Thermal Power Project which was proposed for Sundargarh and Jharsuguda. While the project got initial approval from the Union government, it is now pending with the user agency awaiting compliance report.
Similar was the fate of the MGR Project of Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC). It was proposed that it would require diversion of 13.630 hectare of Sabik Kissam Revenue forest in Sundargarh and Jharsuguda. It is now said to be pending with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for approval.
The rail-line projects are also said to be equally hit by the delays in granting approval or for other actions. The Talcher-Bimlagarh New rail- line project under phase II is also hanging in balance due to issue with the non-diversion of forest land of 244.623 hectare for the project. This project has, till now, not even placed for the Union ministry’s approval for forest land diversion.
Khurda Road-Bolangir line is also one of the projects which has been delayed due to delay in grant of approvals. While this is said to be delayed due to grant of the approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Union government, it is yet to cross the stage-I milestone.
Other projects which are delayed due to pending approval included-Talcher-Sambalpur double rail-line project, Nirgundi-Bhadrak third line project, doubling of Jaroli Porjanpur rail line, Sambalpur-Titlagarh rail-line doubling projects among others.