New Delhi: Chief Minister of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan today met Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and climate Change (independent charge) Prakash Javadekar and brought to his notice difficulties being faced by the state government due to “non-clearance and delay in granting clearance” of development works in National Parks by the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment.
During his meeting with the Union Minister, the chief minister emphasised the need to start tourist activities in buffer areas of national parks asserting that this would provide employment to the local people and also make them emotionally attached with forests.
The Chief Minister expressed concern stating that the maintenance of the National Highway in Seoni district of MP and its conversion into to 4-lane highway is held up. He informed that Seoni national highway can neither be maintained properly nor expanded since the clearance for this has not been given by Ministry of Forests and Environment.
Chouhan also drew Javadekar’s attention towards the Mahan and Imaliya coal blocks where all work has come to a standstill. He said that this is leading to loss of revenue to the state. The Chief Minister said that the state government be allowed to invite tender to re-start the work in order to compensate the revenue loss. In this context, he informed the Union Minister that the area for compensatory afforestation has already been identified.
The Chief Minister expressed concern over the declining number of tigers in Panna district. He urged the Union Minister to release additional funds under CAMPA to re-settle villagers residing inside the Tiger Reserve. Chouhan said that there is no conflict between development works and environment. Balance should be struck between the two. Javadekar gave the assurance that hurdles in development works due to non-clearance from Ministry of Forests and Environment would be removed soon. Principal Secretary to the chief minister S.K. Mishra and Resident Commissioner of madhya Pradesh in Delhi Shri R.K. Chaturvedi were also present.