Kerala forest dept in hurry to grant licence to sawmills, wood-based items shut earlier than 2002

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Specific Information Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even because the income division has courted an argument over the order it issued which facilitated the widespread unlawful felling of timber from pattayam land, the forest division is on a mission to offer permission to sawmills which had been operational within the state until 2002, however closed down later on account of varied points, to begin operations after a niche of near twenty years.

The state authorities order ((P)No.2/2021/F&WLD) printed in a unprecedented gazette on February 12 this 12 months, the forest division has allowed sawmills or wood-based industrial items which had been operational below the licence issued by the native self-government establishments or the identical issued by the division of factories and boilers, or small-scale industries registration certificates issued by the industries division, on or earlier than October 30, 2002, however haven’t obtained the forest division licence until date can apply for the licence inside six months of the issuance of the gazette notification.

Primarily based on the notification, 141 sawmills and wood-based items falling in ten classes have utilized for renewing the licence or acquiring the forest division allow to begin operations. And 4 of them had been granted permission to begin operations whereas the opposite purposes are within the stage of scrutiny. The officer in control of granting the licence ought to take a choice inside 90 days from the date of receipt of the appliance after holding inspection.

As per the order, sawmills, small-scale wooden industries, items for manufacturing merchandise comparable to match splints, match field, pencil slates and photograph frames; wood-based industrial items utilizing all varieties of wooden for manufacturing merchandise comparable to packing case, blockboard and tea chest; rubberwood-based items for manufacturing merchandise comparable to packing case, blockboard and tea chest; wood-based items utilizing all varieties of wooden for manufacturing merchandise comparable to veneer, plywood and particle board which use spherical log because the uncooked materials; industrial items utilizing solely rubberwood for manufacturing merchandise comparable to furnishings, veneer, plywood and particle board; items utilizing solely imported wooden; establishments which impart coaching in wooden processing and carpentry; and industrial items processing coconut palm and/or palmyra wooden at the moment are eligible to use for the forest division licence.

The Supreme Court docket in its order dated October 30, 2002 (in WP(C)No. 202 of 1995) had, inter alia,  directed all states and Union Territories to not allow any unlicensed sawmills, veneer and plywood trade to function. The states and UTs had been additionally directed to shut down all such unlicensed items forthwith. It additionally directed them that no rest of guidelines for granting licence with out earlier concurrence of the Central Empowered Committee shall be granted. Following this, a majority of the sawmills and wood-based items within the state misplaced their operational permits.

Commenting on this, a senior forest officer stated it is a coverage resolution to offer the forest division licence to sawmills and wood-based items operational on or earlier than October 30, 2002. He refused to remark additional on this.

What else gazette says

No authorised officer shall grant licence to sawmills and different wood-based industrial items inside a radius of of 5 kilometres from the boundary of any notified forest or protected areas owned by the federal government, aside from these sawmills and different wood-based items which had been established and operating on or earlier than October 30, 2002

The applicant shall not be an individual convicted of any offence punishable below the Kerala Forest Act, 1961 (4 of 1962) or the Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972 (Central Act 53 of 1972) or some other enactment referring to safety of setting or conservation of organic range or the foundations

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