The Government of Telangana is encouraging establishment of new industries in the state aimed at economic growth coupled with employment generation. In the letter 1st read above, a 344-Point Reform Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business, which were received from the Dept. of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, were communicated. As per the communication from the Government of India, States will be ranked based on the measures taken to operationalize 344 Point Reform Action Plan. One of the important reforms relates to accord “Permission for Tree felling” for establishing new industry under “Ease of Doing Business” Telangana Tree felling permission under WALTA .
2. In the reference, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Telangana State, Hyderabad has informed that out of 344 Point Reform Action Plan, (14) relates to tree felling permission pertaining to Forest Department. The important reforms include following:
1) The detailed procedure covering all applicable steps from application submission to application approval shall be 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.
2) A comprehensive list of the documents that needs to be submitted as part of the application shall be included on the website.
3) Clear timelines are notified either on portal or through a notification and citizen charter.
4) The applicant/entrepreneur shall be able to fill in and submit application form online, pay all associated fees online, applications are processed and approved by each licensing agency 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 online through the portal.
5) There are no physical touch points in the application process.
6) 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.
7) To facilitate self-certification in place of tree N.O.C.
8) Allow third parties to easily verify approval certificate in the public domain.
3. To promote rapid industrialization with Ease of Doing Business, the Government of Telangana has passed “Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self Certification System Act, 2014”. Among several reforms initiated by the Government, the TS-iPASS Common Application Form has been introduced. Under the TS-iPASS Common Application Form, the applicant/entrepreneur is supposed to furnish all details pertaining to different departments in a common application form online along with fees to be paid. On successful completion of filling the TS-iPASS Common Application Form, the relevant details will be sent to the concerned departmental authority for giving necessary license/permission connected with establishment of new industrial units.
4. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force has requested the Government to issue comprehensive instructions covering all
14 Points Reform Action Plan under “EODB” relating to tree felling permission to promote establishment of new industrial units in the state of Telangana.
5. Government, after careful consideration of the proposal hereby issue detailed instructions for grant of tree felling permission under WALTA 2002, as appended to this order.
6. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Telangana, Hyderabad shall take further necessary action, accordingly.
Telangana Tree felling permission under WALTA
G.O.Ms.No.19_, EFS&T (For.I) Department, Dated: 13.05.2016.
Procedure for grant of tree felling permission for establishment of new industry under TS-iPASS and other purposes
1. Person/Firm/Company intending to fell tree growth existing on the patta land or Government assigned/leased land for establishing new industry in the state of Telangana shall furnish details of trees proposed to be felled in the TS-iPASS Common Application Form (Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self Certification System) along with required documents and fees to be paid towards tree felling permission and security deposit for ensuring re-planting of the area under WALTA 2002. Upon successful filing of TS-iPASS Common Application Form, the details of trees to be felled will be forwarded online to the concerned Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer along with enclosures/certificates and payment details through online application coupled with SMS alert for according tree felling permission under WALTA 2002 under intimation to the applicant through SMS alert to the registered mobile number. The applicant shall be able to monitor the status of application online by using user ID and password generated for TS-iPASS Common Application Form.
2. An amount of Rs.50.00 (Rupees fifty only) per tree for urban residential and institution areas and Rs.100.00 (Rupees Hundred only) per tree for commercial areas shall be payable towards inspection fee as prescribed under WALTA/Rules or as revised from time to time. The inspection fee shall be paid online through the department’s website or through TS-iPASS Common Application Form. A system generated receipt shall be made available to the applicant towards the fee paid.
3. If the proposed land for tree felling is recorded as “forest” in any Government record (Revenue/Forest) and as defined by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA), 1980, will be attracted as per the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court in W.P. Civil No.202 of 1995. In such cases, prior permission of Government of India will be essential 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 for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purpose under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, are available at Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF & CC), Govt. of India’s website forestsclearance.nic.in.
4. The Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force will get the trees enumerated falling in Industrial Local Authority (ILA) based on the report received from Industry Department (TSIIC).
5. The applicant shall enclose the list of trees existing in the proposed land and trees proposed to be felled in Annexure-II in TS-iPASS Common Application Form. If the tree growth proposed to be felled is exempted under WALTA Act/Rule, Self-Certificate to this effect in Form-13A prescribed under WALTA 2002 will be sufficient and no further permission for felling of such trees will be required. At present Eucalyptus, Subabool and Casuarina species are exempted from tree felling permission under WALTA/Rules. For trees other than Eucalyptus, Subabool and Casuarina, the details have to be furnished by the applicant under Form-13 prescribed under WALTA/Rules and enumeration list of trees to be felled has to be furnished in Annexure-II. If proposed trees include both exempted and non-exempted tree species under WALTA 2002, Application has to be given in Form-13. For tree species not exempted under WALTA 2002, prior felling permission from Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer is required and if such trees are felled without prior permission, the same will tantamount to an offence and the offender will be liable to be punished under provisions of WALTA Act/Rules and Telangana (Forest Produce) Transit Rules/Telangana Forest Act.
6. The Applicant shall submit online “Certificate of Ownership of Tree/Forest Produce” proposed to be felled from the concerned Tahsildar in the Annexure-IV required under Rule 5(3) of A.P. Forest Produce (Transit) Rules, 1970, while applying for tree felling permission under TS-iPASS Common Application Form. Certificate of Ownership of Tree/Forest Produce from Tahsildar is not required, if proposed trees are exempted under WALTA 2002. On successful filing of online application along with required certificate/enclosures on TS-iPASS, an SMS alert will be sent to the concerned Divisional Forest Officer and simultaneously to the applicant as well.
7. On receipt of details furnished under TS-iPASS Common Application Form online, the Divisional Forest Officer shall verify correctness of online application submitted in Form-13, Form-13A along with Certificate of Ownership of tree growth / Forest Produce in Annexure-IV and Enumeration List of trees to be felled in Annexure-II and if any deficiency is noticed, the same shall be informed to the applicant through e-mail within (24) hours. Simultaneously, SMS alert will also be sent to the applicant.
8. On receipt of details furnished under TS-iPASS Common Application Form online, the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will forward the application through online to the Forest Range Officer concerned within (24) hours of receipt of application in complete shape. While forwarding the application to the Forest Range Officer, the TGFMIS (online application) will randomly select any of the inspecting officer i.e., Forest Section Officers working within the Range for 100% checking of the tree growth in the enumeration list. The Forest Range Officer will verify the location and extent of Patta land/Government assigned land/Government allocated land, tree growth, distance from the nearest Reserve Forest etc.
9. If the proposed area for felling of trees is more than 2 Ha it will be categorised as High Risk Category. If the area is less than 2 Ha, the Forest Range Officer will test check 10% of the trees listed in the Enumeration List on random basis covering the entire area. However, if the proposed area is more than 2 Ha falling into high risk category, the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer/Divisional Forest Officer shall carry out the test check of 10% of the trees in the Enumeration List, in addition to test check done by the Forest Range Officer.
10. In land proposed for industry, if no yield of timber is expected, and by and large only firewood / root wood is expected, the applicant shall lay Sample Plots of 10 M x 10 M size for every 1 acre (0.4 Ha.) of land and arrive at the yield of firewood as well as faggot/root wood as the case may be. Such wood should be stacked in regular shaped stacks for arriving at the accurate yield figures; these should not be heaped irregularly. All the Sample Plots and extracted produce shall be 100% test checked by Forest Section Officer and 20% by the Forest Range Officer.
11. After verification/test check of the Enumeration List & the produce as detailed above, the Forest Range Officer will submit the Inspection Report online along with Enumeration List and Estimate Of Yield of Forest Produce (Timber and Fire/faggot/root wood) species wise including Bamboo, if any, to the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer in Annexure-V.
12. Inspection report of the Forest Range Officer in the prescribed Annexure-V shall be submitted to the Divisional Forest Officer concerned online within (24) hours of the inspection.
13. Scanned copy of inspection report shall be sent to the applicant on his registered e-mail address within (48) hours apart from SMS alert.
14. All the expenses towards marking, enumeration, extraction, stacking etc., will be borne by the applicant.
15. On receipt of Inspection Report of tree enumeration list online in Annexure-V from the Forest Range Officer, the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will accord Tree Felling Permission online within (24) hours of receipt of the inspection report in the Annexure-VI. The order of the felling permission will be scanned and uploaded on the website and simultaneously copy of order will be sent to the applicant through e-mail. The applicant shall take-up felling of tree growth only after receipt of the permission from the competent authority.
16. For according tree felling permission, following authorities are empowered:
Authority to give Sl. No. Tree species permission to fell tree growth
1. Eucalyptus, Su-babul and No permission required, Casuarina Self-Certification from the
applicant is sufficient.
2. Trees other than Teak, Forest Range Rosewood, Red Sanders, Officer/Designated Officer
Sandalwood under WALTA up to (20) Nos. of trees.
3. Trees exceeding (20) Nos. Divisional Forest other than Teak, Rosewood, Officer/Designated Officer.
Red Sanders, Sandalwood.
4. Tree species belonging to Divisional Forest Officer / Teak, Rosewood, Red Conservator of Forests /
Sanders, Sandalwood Prl. C.C.F. as per existing norms under T.S. Forest Produce Transit Rules.\
17. The felling permission granted will not bestow any right to the applicant to transport the timber without obtaining Transit Permit from the Competent Authority (Divisional Forest Officer concerned) under Telangana Forest Produce (Transit) Rules, 1970.
18. As per the provisions of WALTA Act/Rules, applicant shall have to plant double the number of trees felled and in case 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. 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, the Applicant shall submit Security Deposit in the shape of a Bank Guarantee or Demand Draft. 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 (3) years. 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 Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) will prescribe the Unit rate per tree to be collected for raising and maintenance as required under WALTA 2002. 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.400/- per tree, which can be revised every year.
19. The Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer will accord felling permission only after receipt of Security Deposit mentioned above.
20. 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 Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) through SMS and e-mail for taking necessary action.
21. If the Divisional Forest Officer/Designated Officer fails to accord tree felling permission within (3) days of receipt of application form in complete shape along with the enclosures and fees through TS-iPASS Common Application Form, the permission shall deemed to have been granted under WALTA 2002 and a system generated deemed permission as prescribed in Annexure-VII will be communicated to the applicant under intimation to Prl. 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 Telangana Forest Produce Transit Rules, 1970. The applicant/entrepreneur shall not transport the felled tree without obtaining prior permission from the concerned Divisional Forest Officer and without transit permit.
22. 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 and the Conservator of Forests shall pass orders within (3) days of receipt of appeal and his decision will be final.
23. 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 Permits under T.S. (Forest Produce) Transit Rules.
24. For issuing Transit Permits, the Forest Range Officer / Divisional Forest Officer concerned shall follow the provisions under T.S. (Forest Produce) Transit Rules and the instructions / Circulars issued by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests from time to time.
25. All the tree felling permissions accorded shall be posted on the website for the Department in public domain for viewing by the 3rd party.
26. Entire process shall be web enabled and at no stage Applicant will be required to visit any of the Forest Dept. offices or meet Officers in person.
27. Above procedure also required to be followed for other cases of request of individual, public or private organisations for tree felling.
G.O.MS.No.19 Dated: 13/05/2016
Read the following:
1. From the Secretary to Government, Industries and Commerce Department, TS, Hyderabad, Lr.No.7538/ IP&INF/ A1/2015, Dt.05.11.2015.
2. From the Prl.C.C.F. & HoFF, TS, Hyderabad Ref.No.1109/ 2015/Prod.2/TG, Dt.05.05.2016.