55 Sq Kms of forest land in KG – ONN for Exploration Activities


The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad in his letter had submitted a proposal under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, for issue of permission for undertaking prospecting exploration activities over an extent of 55 Sq Kms of forest land in KG – ONN – 2004 / 1 block having total area of 511 Sq. Km, of land located in Kakinada Division in East Godavari District, in favour of M/s. Oil India Ltd., and requested to forward the same to Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, for according approval under section 2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

The said proposal has been sent to Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, for their approval under Section-2 of Forest (C) Act, 1980 vide State Government letter . Subsequently, the State Government vide letter, have furnished certain additional information as desired by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests.

Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests have accorded their approval for undertaking prospecting exploration activities over an extent of 55 Sq Kms of Forest Land in KG – ONN – 2004 / 1 block having total area of  511 Sq. Km, of land located in Kakinada Division in East Godavari District,  in favour of M/s. Oil India Ltd, subject to certain conditions as stipulated therein.

Government after careful examination of the proposal, hereby accord permission to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, for undertaking prospecting exploration activities over an extent of 55 Sq Kms of forest land in KG – ONN – 2004 / 1 block having total area of   511 Sq. Km, of land located in Kakinada Division in East Godavari District, by M/s. Oil India Ltd., subject to the following conditions:-

(i) The activities to be undertaken by the user agency within the forest land for prospecting shall not result in felling of any tree.

(ii) The samples collected during the prospecting shall be used purely for investigation purposes and shall in no case be used for trade or commerce purpose.

(iii)   To  minimize disturbance to  the  wildlife, user agency shall  take  all possible measures to minimize noise during prospecting operations and halt the prospecting activities during night and during such periods in the day as may be advised by the Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

(iv)  The State Forest Department shall deploy adequate staff to supervise the activities to be undertaken by the user agency to prevent any damage to the flora (especially the fresh regeneration), fauna and also to prevent felling of trees during drilling of holes and movement of equipment.

(v)   The   permission  for   prospecting  shall   not   be   construed  as   any commitment on part of the Central Government for diversion of forest land for mining purpose.

(vi) After completion of the prospecting all bore holes shall be completely filled up.

(vii)  To avoid damage to the turtle breeding areas no shot holes be allowed to be drilled within one Kilometer distance from the coastline.  Similarly, drilling  of  bore  holes  in  good  mangrove  areas  at  Ratikaluva  in Ratikaluva Reserve Forest and some potentially good bird habitats such as mudflats may also be not allowed. Sensors to pick up waves / signals may only be allowed to be laid in these areas.

(viii)   Damage to mangrove and other vegetation be avoided while creating the shot line and boring the shot holes by appropriate adjusting location of shot hole and geophone lines.

(ix)     Entry of bare minimum number of persons, under strict supervision of the State Forest Department shall only be allowed in the forest land for prospecting activities.

(x)  The survey activities shall be restricted to the period between May to November. More specifically, no activity should be undertaken from December to February in the mangrove areas.

(xi)  No heavy machineries be allowed in the forest area.

(xii)  No camping of labourers be allowed inside the forest area.

(xiii)   A study should be commissioned through appropriate and competent institutions / organizations to evaluate the impact of such exploration activities on mangrove fauna particularly the aquatic fauna.   The user agency should support this study.

(xiv)    The validity of the extant approval shall be for a period co-terminus with the period of the prospecting license to be granted under the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act. 1957, or Rules framed there under.

(xv)    State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the user agency shall comply with any other condition that the Regional Office (Southern Zone), Bangalore of the MoEF, may stipulate, from time to time , in the interest of conservation, protection and development of forests & wildlife; and

(xvi)   User Agency   and the State Government shall ensure compliance to provisions of the all Acts, Rules, Regulations and Guidelines, for the time being in force, as applicable to the project.

The  Principal  Chief  Conservator  of  Forests,  Andhra  Pradesh,  Hyderabad  is directed to take further necessary action in the matter. He is also directed to make an officer responsible to ensure that every condition is strictly followed by the User Agency.
G.O.Ms.No. 35 Read the following:-  Dated:13 -05-2013.
1. From PCCF, A.P, Hyderabad, Lr.Rc.No.29502/07-F1, dt. 6-10-2009.
2. From PCCF, A.P, Hyderabad, Lr.Rc.No.29502/07-F1, dt. 26-10-2010.
3 State Govt. Lr.No.7194/For.I(1)/2009, dt. 23-11-2010
4. From PCCF, AP, Hyderabad, Lr.Rc.No.29502/07-F1, dt.31.01.2012.
5. State Govt. Lr.No.7194/For.I(1)/2009, dt.18-02-2012
6. From GOI, Mo.EF, New Delhi, Lr.No.8-08/2011-FC, dt.8-03-2013.

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