20 rail projects await environmental clearance from MoEF

MoEF and concerned states are being pursued to speed up forestry clearance of pending cases, Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury said.

New Delhi:  Twenty railway projects have been held up due to objections raised by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

A maximum of five rail projects are held up in East Coast zone which include the 82 km long Haridaspur-Paradeep new line, the 98 km long Angul-Sukinda Road new line and the 25 km long Talcher-Bimlagarh new line projects where forest land is yet to be transferred to railways.

While three rail projects are awaiting environmental clearance in East Central zone, 12 projects are held up in other zones.

“Ministry of Environment and Forests and concerned state governments are being pursued through regular coordination meetings with the Chief Secretary and other concerned officials to speed up forestry clearance of the pending cases,” said Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in reply to a question.

He said the clearance for these projects is not solely in control of Railways so the time by which the work on these projects is likely to be resumed is not feasible to be fixed.

However, he said work in non-forest areas of these projects have been taken up.