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Saw Mills

Saw Mills and Saw Pits in the State were first brought under regulation of the State Government through the "Orissa Saw Pits and Saw Mills (Control) Rules 1980" framed under section 45 of the Orissa Forest Act. The rules prohibited establishment of Saw Mills in forest area or area within 80 kilometers from the boundary of such forest area without a valid license. The deficiencies in these rules were sought to be removed through a special Act "Orissa Saw Mills and Saw Pits (Control) Act 1991". This Act prohibited the establishment or operation of any saw mill on or after the day the Act came into force i.e. 13th of December 1991 within any forest area or within 10 kilometers of boundary of any forest area. The provisions of this special act were sought to be implemented through the "Orissa Saw Mills and Saw Pits (Control) Rules 1993" which came into force on 17.11.1993. The forest area was then understood to be either Reserve Forest or Protected Forest and accordingly distance from such forest was being considered while granting license to any saw mill or saw pit.

In the year 1996, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in TN Godavarman case gave a broad definition of Forest which includes Revenue Forest or any parcel of land recorded as Forest. This definition of Forest brought all the saw mills or saw pits within the distance of 10 kilometers as per definition given in section 4 of "Orissa Saw Mills and Saw Pits (Control) Act 1991". In the year 2002, Hon'ble Supreme Court gave further direction that no saw-mills, veneer, plywood industry will operate without a valid license. In the context of Odisha, implementation of above direction of Supreme Court resulted in closure of all Saw Mills and saw Pits. Subsequently on appeal from Saw Mill owners, the Hon'ble Supreme Court directed that the saw mills and saw pits can be rehabilitated in identified industrial estates, not more than two per district. The process of rehabilitation is going on and so far (31.05.2014) 68 saw mills have been rehabilitated in the State. Details of 25 numbers of running Saw Mills are given in the link file.