Environmental issues may delay rail freight corridors
Before the March 2013 schedule for signing the phase II of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan for the Western Corridor, the DFC Corporation (DFCC) needs to obtain approvals concerning three wildlife sanctuaries — the Balaji Ambaji and Thol sanctuaries of Gujarat and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park of Maharashtra.
The 1,483-km-long Western Corridor is being constructed between Dadri and Mumbai, passing through Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The DFCC has obtained clearances from the state wildlife boards of both state governments and in the case of the Ambaji Park, the National Board of Wildlife has also given the nod. However, there remains a long winding bureaucratic struggle ahead for the DFCC.
Besides approvals from the national and state wildlife boards, the DFCC needs sanction from the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court. The permission from the environment ministry for “diversion of forest land” under the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 is also required.
JICA guidelines stipulate that unless the entire process is completed and all clearances are received, awards for contract work cannot be given. The deadline for both Western and Eastern corridor is 2016-17.
Completing the process within the next five months for the DFCC seems rather a
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