Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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JYF no to amendment of Forest Bill

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From Our Correspondent

JOWAI: The Jaintia Youth Federation (JYF) has strongly opposed the Cabinet approval to the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2012 in connection with clarity on the definition of forest areas.

The government has brought this proposed amendment due to absence of a clear definition to define the forest areas.

“As per the amendment if the minimum of four hectares of land having more than 250 natural growing trees per hectare is declared as forest, then most of the areas in Jaintia Hills would not qualify as forest areas based on the size and numbers of natural growing trees.”

“This would only benefit people involved in coal and limestone mining,” JYF president P Majaw said on Wednesday.

“The United Khasi Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Management and Control of Forests) Act, 1958 (Section 2 (f) of the Act) clearly states that a landed property with more than 25 natural growing trees per acre (50 trees per hectare) would be considered as ‘Forest areas’. We should stick to that in order to protect our land and forest in the State,” he added.

The JYF suggested that the new clause (10) which has been inserted in the Section 3 of the Act should be changed.

He also said that instead of using the phrase ‘250 natural growing trees per hectare’, the clause should be modified to ’50 natural growing trees per hectare’.

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