Forest land clearance is an issue that exercises a lot of industrialists. Many of them take on board retired or serving Indian Forest Service officers in the hope that through them the red tape will get cut faster and the process of obtaining forest clearance less painful.

The process of getting permission to use forest land for a non forestry purposes is complicated and takes a lot of time. Optimally the process takes three years.

The best option is to select a piece of land that has not been notified as forest. In case there is no option but to select a piece of forest land for setting up an industry like opening a mine, it is best to avoid sanctuaries, thick forest, wetlands attracting migratory birds and other ecologically sensitive areas. Even if you are able to get the forest officer on your side, the counter pressure is often generated by wildlife lovers and media. The power to accord clearance lies with the Ministry of Environment and Forests and pressure from line Ministries and Ministry of Finance does not often succeed.

It is easier to wrestle with agricultural, private land owners and rehabilitation than the forest bureaucracy in India.

And mind you obtaining forest clearance is tougher in the Western developed countries than it is in India.

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Sudhirahluwalia, Inc