Govt brings relatively flexible provision on use of forest land

KATHMANDU: The government has come up with a relatively flexible provision regarding the use of forest land while implementing development projects of national priorities.

Earlier, a tussle was frequent between project promoters and the Ministry of Forest regarding the use of forest land due to a draconian provision on this.

The government on May 22 had endorsed the work procedure regarding the use of national forest area for the projects of national priorities-2017 which allows the project to pay the government in cash in case of its inability to provide compensation in the form of land to the used forest land.

With the endorsement of the work procedure, the project can use land belonging to the forest, which automatically goes to the government possession with the ending of agreement tenure, by paying certain charge to the government.

As per the previous provision, any project while using the forest land had to provide land compensation equivalent to the used land near the project site to the government.

According to Spokesperson at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Dhananjay Poudel, the new procedure has made the implementation of the development project easier and is expected to contribute to forest conservation as well.

The work procedure is applicable to projects of national priorities, government infrastructure projects to be built by the private sector or on the public-private partnership model, projects relating to goods or services for public use like road, drinking water and electricity projects and those categorised as the projects of national pride by the government.