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Roads and forest clearance

A flagrant display of classical red tape in that for many years, clearance from the Forest Department was not forthcoming in respect of 43 important roads in erstwhile Doda District for reasons not known. This belies the claim, we are afraid; of the BJP-PDP Coalition Government that road network in this region was all set for a complete turnaround. Several road projects were sanctioned for different parts for erstwhile Doda District (Now, comprising three Districts of Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban) under Pradhan Mantari Gram Sadak Yojna  (PMGSY), NABARD and CRF in order to improve road network in these mountainous areas. Work on 43 roads could not be started despite lapse of several years for want of forest clearance and usual lack of coordination between different areas of administration in resolving bottlenecks. Hence time frame on these roads cannot be ascertained nor specified.
12 proposed roads  in Kishtwar Forest Division as also 2 and 5 in Marwah and Doda Forest Division, respectively fall under PMGSY as also as many as 15 of  Bhaderwah Forest Division.  Among the roads under NABARD, whose execution is delayed for want of forest clearance for the last several years, one falls in Kishtwar division, three in Marwah and two in Doda and three in Bhaderwah divisions respectively?
Clearance under FCA Act 1997 is awaited for the execution work on these roads. Four years are, perhaps, considered inadequate in clearing or outright rejecting which seems amazing and which fits in the category of unquestionable classical way of official red-tape.
Has the mandatory compensation amount been deposited by the work execution agencies with the Forest Department on being informed about the clearance of proposals by the Forest Advisory Committee resulting in the suspension of formal clearance certificate by the Forest Department? Have joint meetings taken place between concerned departments to speed up clearance process? These are some of the prerequisites for addressing the bottlenecks and impediments which need to be looked into keeping in view the fact that the people of this erstwhile Doda District have remained deprived of the road connectivity facilities for many years. It is high time the Government intervened and resolved the issues on priority basis as these districts demand preferred attention because of long economic backwardness.

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