- PS-MSME, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Letter N0. 161/vii-2-16/43-MSME/2014, dt. 20/01/2016.
- Forest & Environment Section-3, Govt. of Uttarakhand 68/X-3-16-21(02)/2016, dt. 27/01/2016.
- Dept. of Industries, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Letter N0. 4597/उ.नि.(पांच) / 2015-16, dt. 04/03/2016.
The Government of Uttarakhand is encouraging establishment of new industries in the state which is aimed at promotion of economic growth coupled with employment generation. Department of Industry Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, has communicated 340-Point Reform Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business. The Government of India has further informed that states will be ranked based on the measures taken to operationalise 340-Point Reform Action Plan. One of the important reforms relates to permission for felling of trees for establishing new industry under "Ease of Doing Business". Out of 340-Point Reform Action Plan, 14 relates to tree felling permission pertaining to Forest Department. The important reforms includes following:
- The detailed procedure covering all applicable steps from application submission to application approval and a comprehensive list of all documents that needs to be submitted as part of the application is published online on Department's website. It may be supplemented with process map, if available and in any case the details should be published explicitly and should not refer to Acts or Rules.
- Clear timelines are notified either on portal or through a notification and citizen charter.
- The applicant/entrepreneurs shall be able to fill out and submit application form online, pay, track and monitor applications online. Applications are processed and approved by designated authority online, the user should be able to track the status of his application online and on approval the user shall be able to obtain approval/registration certificate/acknowledgement receipt online through the application portal.
- There are No physical touch points in the application process.
- Other users should be able to check the authenticity of the document online, using the certificate number or other unique reference by visiting the portal.
- To facilitate Self-Certification in case of Exempted Tree Species, felling and replanting.
- To publish a check list and procedure for Inspection, delegate Nodal Officers, Publish online plantation requirements and computerised allocation of inspecting authorities
- Allow third parties to easily verify approval certificate in the public domain.
To encourage rapid industrialisation and ease of doing business, the Government of Uttarakhand has passed "Uttarakhand Enterprises Single Window Facilitation and Clearance Act, 2012". Among several reforms initiated by the Government, the Common Application Form (hereinafter referred to as CAF) has been introduced. Under the CAF the applicant/entrepreneur is supposed to furnish all details pertaining to different departments online along with fees to be paid. On successful filling of the CAF, the relevant details will be sent to the concerned departmental authority (nodal officers) for giving necessary NOC/license/permission (in-principle) connected with establishment of new industrial units.
A time-line for various approvals has been fixed under the “Uttarakhand Enterprises Single Window Facilitation and Clearance Rules, 2015”. In-principle approval for setting up an industry has to be given within 15 days, through departmental nodal officer, by the concern nodal officer of the respective district, on the merit of case, basis.
Once the in-principle approval has been granted by the concern department, the actual NOC/Permission has to be given within next 30 days.
Several rounds of discussions have been held with the Chief Secretary to Government and consultant Team to fine tune the action to be taken to implement 340 - Point Reform Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business as recommended by the Government of India.
In the above background, following instructions are issued for grant of tree felling permission under “Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection), Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand)” for establishment of new industrial unit under "Uttarakhand Enterprises Single Window Facilitation and Clearance Act, 2012".
PROCEDURE FOR GRANT OF TREE FELLING PERMISSION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY UNDER UTTARAKHAND ENTERPRISES SINGLE WINDOW FACILITATION AND CLEARANCE ACT, 2012.
A. FOR IN-PRINCIPLE APPROVAL:
- Person/Firm/Company intending to fell tree growth existing on the revenue/Private patta land or Government assigned/leased land for establishing new industry in the state of Uttarakhand or existing other than on reserve forests, protected forests, cantonment area and government gardens shall furnish details of trees proposed to be felled in the Common Application Form (CAF) through Uttarakhand State Single Window Facilitation and Clearance System (https://investuttarakhand.uk.gov.in/), along with required documents, in order to get in-principle approval for felling of trees from the forest department, setting up an industry. Upon successful filling up of CAF, it will be forwarded to the concerned Nodal Officer/Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer (for single window clearance) along with enclosures/certificates and payment details through online portal/software application for according in-principle approval for setting up an industry and to provide tree felling permission under section 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection), Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand under intimation to the applicant. The applicant will be able to track and monitor the status of application online by using user ID and password generated for CAF.
- Nodal Officer/DFO of the respective district will forward the CAF to the concerned Divisional Forest Officer, having jurisdiction over the proposed land, within (24) hours of receipt of an application from Uttarakhand State Single Window System.
- Concern DFO will forward the Application to the concerned Sub-Divisional Officer, within (24) hours of receipt of the application from the Nodal DFO of the respective district. Once the information received from the DFO concerned, field inspection will be done by Sub-Divisional Officer, compulsorily.
- Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) will verify the location and extent of revenue/Private Patta land/ allocated land and tree species status & growth, condition of trees proposed for felling and distance from the nearest Reserve Forest or sensitive forest area etc. The Inspection report of the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer, along with all the enclosures in Part-A of the Annexure-III shall be submitted to the Divisional Forest Officer, concerned online within (24) hours of the inspection and scanned copy of inspection report shall be sent to the applicant on his registered e-mail address apart from SMS alert. The Sub-Divisional Forest Officer has to finish all the necessary inspections and submit the report within the time period of 7 days of receipt of application.
- Concern Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) will verify the inspection report and approve or reject the proposal in the FORM-IA along with reasons/comments mandatorily forward through online, the in-principle approval or rejection report to the respective Nodal-DFO of the district, within (48) hours of the receipt of inspection report from the concern SDO. (Incomplete inspection report will be returned back to the concern SDO within (24) hrs of receipt, in the Part-B of Annexure-V).
- Nodal Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the district will forward the in-principle tree approval report for tree felling to District Level Empowered Committee (if the project cost is Less than ten crore) or to the State Level Empowered Committee (if the project cost is More than ten crore) within (24) hours. The applicant will also be informed on his registered e-mail address apart from SMS alert.
If the proposed land for tree felling is recorded as "Forest" in any of the Government records (Revenue/Forest) the provisions of Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980, will be attracted as per the orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in W.P. Civil No.202 of 1995, dated 11.11.1996. In such cases prior permission of Government of India will be mandatory for felling the trees and conversion of such forest land for any non-forestry purpose. Detailed guidelines and procedure for submitting online application for seeking prior permission from Government of India under F.C.A. are available at Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF & CC), Govt. of India's website www.forestsclearance.nic.in.
B. GRANT OF TREE FELLING PERMISSION:
- Once the in-principle approval has been granted, the applicant shall have to log in (through already registered e-mail ID) to single window clearance system of Uttarakhand state through https://investuttarakhand.uk.gov.in/. After successfully log in the applicant has to look for tree felling NOC tab or tab related to forest department on the single window system. Now, applicant/s have to furnish his/her personal and land details along with the list of trees existing in the proposed land and trees proposed to be felled in Form-I in the Original Application Form (for Tree Felling Permission). If the tree growth proposed to be felled is exempted under Sec. 21 of the Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection), Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand, Self-Certificate to this effect in Form-II will be sufficient and no further permission for felling of such trees will be required. But transit permission will be required, if a particular tree species is not exempted under the rule 3 (c) of Uttarakhand transit of timber and other forest produce rules, 2012. For trees other than exempted tree species, the details have to be furnished and enumeration list of trees to be felled has to be furnished under Form-I. If proposed trees include both exempted and non-exempted tree species under Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection), Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand, Application has to be given in Form-I. If a tree species is not exempted under Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection), Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand, A prior felling permission from Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will be required and if such trees are felled without prior permission, the same will tantamount to an offence under the Act and the offender will be liable to be punished under provisions of Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection) Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand and Uttarakhand transit of timber and other forest produce rules-2012.
- The Applicant will be required to submit "Certificate of Ownership of land and Tree/Forest Produce" proposed to be felled from the concerned revenue officer (Tahsildar or above) in the Annexure-I along with original application form (Form-I), while applying for tree felling permission under TPA-1976. Certificate of Ownership of Tree/Forest Produce from revenue officer is not required, if proposed trees are exempted under Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection) Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand.
- On receipt of details furnished under Application Form or Form-I through web portal from departmental nodal officer (within 24 hrs), the concerned Divisional Forest Officer/Nodal Officer (a verifying personnel or permit clerk may verify, on behalf of DFO) will verify correctness of online application submitted, along with all Certificates enclosed i.e. certificate of Ownership of tree growth in Annexure-I and Enumeration list of trees to be felled, Photo ID proof, copy of Khatauni and tree photo with numbers etc., If any deficiency is noticed, the same shall be informed to the applicant through e-mail within (48) hours / 2 days. Simultaneously, SMS alert will also be sent to the applicant on the registered mobile number. The applicant will re-submit the form, after necessary corrections.
- On receipt of corrected Application in Form-I, an acknowledgement receipt will be sent to the applicant through his/her registered e-mail. Now, the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will forward the application through web portal to the concern Sub-divisional Forest Officer (SDO) or District Horticulture Officer (DHO), as the case may be within (48) hours of receipt of application in complete shape. In case of fallen trees, the SDO/DHO has to submit the inspection report within 3 days of receipt of application. In case of standing forest tree species, the SDO will forward the application to the concerned Forest Range Officer (FRO), within (24) hours of receipt of application, and in case of Horticulture species in urban areas, DHO has to submit inspection report within 15 days of receipt of application to the concerned DFO in Annexure-IV .
- Forest Range Officer will verify the location and extent of revenue/Private Patta land/Government assigned land/Government allocated land and tree growth, condition of trees, volume of tree growth and distance from the nearest Reserve Forest etc. The Forest Range Officer will carry out 100% enumeration of trees proposed to be felled, done through concerned or any other Forest Section Officer (will be allocated randomly by the computer application). The Forest Range Officer will test check 75% of the trees listed in the Enumeration list on random basis covering the entire area. After verification/test check of the Enumeration list & the produce as detailed above, the Forest Range Officer will submit the Inspection Report along with Enumeration List and estimate of yield of Forest Produce (timber and fire/root wood) species wise including Bamboo, if any, to the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer, concerned in Part-A&B of Annexure-II. The Forest Range Officer has to finish all the necessary inspections and submit the report, within 10 days of receipt of application.
- The Sub-Divisional Forest Officer will also compulsorily carry out the test check of the trees (75%, if the proposed area is more than 2 Ha.) in addition to test check done by the Forest Range Officer. After verification/test check of the Enumeration List as detailed above, the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer will submit the Inspection Report along with Enumeration List and estimate of yield of Forest Produce (timber and Fire/root wood) species wise including Bamboo, if any, to the concerned Divisional Forest Officer, concerned in Part-B of Annexure-III. Inspection report of the SDO in Part B of Annexure-III shall be submitted to the Divisional Forest Officer concerned online within (24) hours of the inspection and scanned copy of inspection report shall be sent to the applicant on his registered e-mail address apart from SMS alert. The Sub-Divisional Forest Officer has to finish all the necessary inspections and submit the report within the time period of 7 days of receipt of inspection report from concern FRO.
- Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will mandatorily forward/submit online, the inspection report (incomplete inspection report will be return back to the concerned SDO with in 24 hrs of receipt, in the Annexure-V received from SDO/DHO to the departmental nodal officer within (48) hours, in order to publish the inspection report on departmental website.
- All the expenses towards marking, enumeration, extraction, stacking etc., will be borne by the applicant.
- On receipt of Inspection Report of tree enumeration list online in Annexure–II & III or IV from the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer and Forest Range Officer or DHO, the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will accord Tree Felling Permission (once the NSC received) within 4 days of receipt of the inspection report. Certificate of Felling will also be published on website. The applicant shall take-up felling of tree growth only after receipt of the permission from the competent authority.
- As per the provisions of Sec. 7 of the Uttar Pradesh Tree (Protection), Act 1976, as adopted in Uttarakhand, applicant is bound to plant (at least 4 years old seedling) and tend (at least for 5 yrs), double the number of trees felled and in case S/he fails to plant and raise required number of plants, the Designated Officer/Divisional Forest Officer will raise the required number of plants at the cost of applicant as per the Sec.9) of the TPA.
- In order to comply with the above provisions under law, the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will estimate and raise demand and obtain a Security Deposit towards cost of raising required number of plants from the Applicant. On receipt of Demand Notice from the Designated Officer/Divisional Forest Officer, through e-mail the Applicant shall submit Security Deposit in the shape of a Bank Guarantee or NSC. Applicant has to furnish details of security deposit such as Number, Bank name and Date etc., through e-mail ID of concerned DFO, while sending the security/NSC. The Security Deposit furnished by the applicant will be refunded on raising the required number of plants and maintaining them for a minimum period of (5) year. A self declared certificate, stating number of trees planted, name and age of tree seedlings planted along with photographs has to be submitted through e-mail of concerned DFO. In case of failure to raise required number of plants by the applicant, the Security Deposit will not be refunded and the Divisional Forest Officer shall arrange to plant the required number of plants from the Security Deposit available with him and inform the applicant accordingly.
- For this purpose, the office of Principle Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) will prescribe the Unit rate per tree to be collected for raising and maintenance as required under TPA-1976. The cost of fencing for the plantation to be raised will also be included in the cost of raising and maintenance of plantation, if the site is not well protected against biotic interference. For the year 2016-17, the security deposit shall be collected @ Rs. 1500/- per tree, which shall be revised every year.
- The Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will accord felling permission, only after receipt of Security Deposit, as mentioned above.
- If the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer fails to accord tree felling permission within the stipulated time, a system generated alert will be sent to Conservator of Forests and departmental nodal officer on behalf of Principle Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) through SMS and e-mail for taking necessary action.
- If the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer fails to accord tree felling permission within (30) days of receipt of application form Single window system in Common Application Form (CAF), the permission shall deemed to have been granted and a system generated deemed permission as prescribed in Annexure-VI will be communicated to the applicant under intimation to departmental nodal officer on behalf of Principle Chief Conservator of Forests/Conservator of Forests. Deemed approval does not bestow any right on the applicant to transport the felled trees. Permission to transport non-exempted trees from the Divisional Forest Officer on a valid transit permit is mandatory under the provisions of rule 3 (c) of Uttarakhand transit of timber and other forest produce rules, 2012. The applicant/entrepreneur shall not transport the felled tree without obtaining prior permission from the concerned Divisional Forest Officer and without transit permit/pass.
- If the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer rejects application for according felling permission, the applicant may file an appeal to the Conservator of Forests through online application, within 30 days of rejection and the Conservator of Forests shall pass orders within (3) days of receipt of appeal and his decision will be final.
- After obtaining permission for felling tree growth from the competent authority, the applicant will take up tree felling and submit application to the Divisional Forest Officer for issue of Transit permit under Uttarakhand transit of timber and other forest produce rules-2012.
- For issuing Transit permit, the concerned Forest Range Officer/Divisional Forest Officer concerned shall follow the provisions under Uttarakhand transit of timber and other forest produce rules, 2012 and the instructions/Circulars issued by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) from time to time.
- All the tree felling permissions accorded shall be posted on the departmental website (www.forest.uk.gov.in) in public domain for viewing by the 3rd party.
- Entire process shall be web enabled and shall be completed in 25 days. At No stage Applicant will be required to visit any of the Forest Dept. offices or meet Officers in person.
- The Divisional Forest Officer concerned shall carry out enumeration of standing tree growth within (10) days of receipt of list of planned areas proposed for allotment/leasing to the Industry by the Uttarakhand State Industrial Department.
- All the related policies, rules, regulation and acts along with the feedbacks/comments will be uploaded on the departmental website (www.forest.uk.gov.in), as well as on the www.uk.gov.in web portal.
All the Divisional Forest Officers are requested to follow the above instructions and ensure that tree felling permission is granted within the stipulated time as per the flowchart enclosed.
Rajinder Kumar, I.F.S.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF)/
Head of Forest Force (HoFF)