Shimla April, 15; All decks have been cleared for laying the foundation stone of IIM Sirmaur at the earmarked site at Dhaula Kuan in Paonta Sahib with the Forest Department ruling out the requirement of seeking clearance under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
The IIM, Sirmaur, which became functional in 2015, was operating from a temporary campus while a site measuring 1010.5 bigha has been earmarked for constructing its permanent campus.
YP Gupta, Conservator, Forests, Nahan, while confirming the news, said the site did not attract the provisions of the FCA, 1980 and the institute could go ahead with the construction. Since the arboretum present on the site has been raised on an agricultural land and it comprised manmade plantations no FCA clearance was required. The management has, however, been directed to incorporate the trees present along the roads in the masterplan so that they could be preserved.
The 1010.5 bighas land includes 809.13 bighas of cultivable land belonging to the Agriculture Department, 74.2 bighas of the Horticulture Department and 126.10 bighas of Agriculture University, Palampur. As many as 1,128 trees of sal, ched, shisham, bamboo, etc., are present on the site.
The process to lay the foundation stone of the permanent campus of the IIM had been delayed owing to the FCA hassle. Being a Centrally-funded project the BJP leaders were keen that its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Dr Rajiv Bindal, Chief Spokesman, BJP and MLA Nahan, said the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar had been communicated that no FCA clearance was required on this site by the Principal Secretary, Forests, and its foundation stone could be laid now. He added that they were hopeful that either the Prime Minister for the union minister would come for the ceremony.
The IIM recently held its first convocation where 20 students who had completed the PG diploma course were conferred degrees by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. This IIM was announced by the UPA government in its last budget in 2014.
News Source Tribune India