New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The environment ministry Monday reconstituted a panel for providing forest clearance to infrastructure projects, a ministry official said.
The seven-member Forest Appraisal Committee (FAC) includes three independent members and four government officials.
The panel was dissolved in the end of May and since then several projects seeking forest clearances were pending. The committee holds its meeting once a month.
The independent members -- K.P. Nyati, head of Sustainable Mining Initiative, an outfit of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, Mohammad Firoz Ahmed, a wildlife biologist and N.P. Todaria, professor of forestry, HNB Garhwal University -- will have a term of two years.
Other members include the director general of forests, the additional director general of forests, the additional commissioner (soil conservation) in the agriculture ministry and inspector general of forests in the environment ministry.
All development projects involving transfer of forest land for non-forest purposes are required to seek FAC clearances.
The committee sends its recommendation to the environment ministry, which takes the final call.