The Supreme Court of India, in the last week of August 2013, cleared the project of Indian Railways, Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project passing through Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) after hearing under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
With this clearance, the construction of Phase – II of Dedicated Freight Corridor from Vadodara to JNPT has been cleared. Other crucial clearances are also in line for this project. This has been possible because of sensitivity and full commitment of project authorities.
What is Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project?
Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project is the part of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL), which is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways. DFCCIL made efforts for minimum disturbance to the ecologically and environmentally sensitive areas by taking detours as much as possible and further by its sensitivity, resolve and commitment towards protection of Environment and its surroundings wherever the corridor has to pass.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor approached all possible authorities in order to receive the final nod from the Apex Court of India. The aim of DFC was to get approvals from the office of Principle Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra, the State Board of Wildlife (SBWL), followed by clearance from the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL). For this purpose, it also incorporated all the stipulations suggesting measures to minimise threat and disturbance to wildlife before submitting the application to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), constituted by the Supreme Court of India.
CEC had recommended the proposal of Freight Corridor to pass through the National Park after conducting a detailed inspection of the site with the project and the state forest officials. CEC, while making recommendation about the proposal, also added a few stipulations as mitigation measures, which were accepted by the DFCCIL. DFCCIL, in the meanwhile, will also facilitate free movement of wild animals, chain link fencing for protection, and as a contribution towards the environment and wildlife protection, funds for the upkeep and improvement of SGNP apart from compensatory afforestation in the region.