Central Empowered Committee (CEC), a fact finding body appointed by the Supreme Court, recently clarified that the Karnataka government can seek a diversion of the forest land under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for the implementation of the Goa-Tamnar Transmission Project.
About Goa-Tamnar Transmission Project:
- It is an Inter State Transmission System project envisaged by the Ministry of Power in 2015.
- Purpose: It was envisioned to create an additional source of power for the state of Goa, which is currently dependent on the Western grid for its growing power requirements.
- The project involves laying a 400 KV transmission line from Sangod in Goa to the Karnataka border to help meet Goa’s peak electricity demand.
- This project is spread across the state of Goa, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.
- It passes through the heavy dense forest of the Western Ghats in Goa & Karnataka.
- Implementin Agency: Goa Tamnar Transmission Project Limited (GTTPL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) incorporated for the implementation.
What is the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980?
- It is an act by the Parliament of India which ensures the conservation of forests and their resources.
- Key Provisions:
- It prohibits the felling of forests for any “non-forestry” use without prior clearance by the central government.
- The Central Government has the power to make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
- Any person aggrieved may file an appeal to the National Green Tribunal.
- Offences made by Authorities or Government Departments are punishable.
- The Central Government may constitute an advisory committee to advise the government with regard to forest conservation.
Q1) What is the National Green Tribunal (NGT)?
The National Green Tribunal, established in 2010, as per the National Green Tribunal Act is a specialised judicial body equipped with expertise solely for the purpose of adjudicating environmental cases in the country.