Forest officer denied work after he flagged environmental violations in Andaman and Nicobar

A senior forest officer in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was left with no work allocated to him, after he highlighted to the Indian government’s environment ministry that the construction of some parts of the Andaman Trunk Road, or National Highway 4, was going on without forest clearance, in violation of the country’s Forest Conservation Act or FCA 1980.

The officer had also highlighted several other incidents where violations of the Act in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands area were recorded.

On April 29, Tarun Coomar, who is the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration, wrote to the then secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change CK Mishra. Coomar, in his letter to Mishra – reviewed by Mongabay-India discussed forest clearances under the Forest Conservation Act 1980, under which any forest land that is diverted for any non-forestry purpose like a dam, mining or highway project requires clearance.

He stated in his letter that rampant violations of FCA are happening in the A&N Islands, which have been reported from time to time to the A&N administration but have yielded no result, as no action has been taken. “Regretfully, developmental agencies of both appointed administrative, as well as…

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