New Delhi: In a significant move aimed at bolstering the agroforestry sector, the environment ministry unveiled the National Transit Pass System (NTPS) on Friday, establishing a “One Nation-One Pass” regime. This initiative is designed to facilitate the smooth transit of timber, bamboo, and other forest produce across the country.
Presently, the issuance of transit permits for timber and forest products is subject to state-specific rules, resulting in a cumbersome process where separate permits are required for each state. The NTPS is set to streamline this process, enabling seamless transit by providing a unified system for the entire nation.
Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, flagging off two vehicles laden with timber and other forest produce from Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir to West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, emphasized that the NTPS goes beyond incentivizing agroforestry. It is poised to benefit the entire value chain and act as a bridge between rural and urban economies.
Under the new system, QR-coded transit permits will be utilized at check-gates across states to verify permit validity, ensuring a hassle-free transit experience. The NTPS aims to simplify the issuance of timber transit permits, promoting the adoption of the principle “Wood is Good: Grow More, Use More.”
Environment Secretary Leena Nandan highlighted that the NTPS is designed for user convenience, featuring both desktop and mobile applications for easy registration and permit applications. The initiative already enjoys support from 25 states/UTs, streamlining inter-state business operations for producers, farmers, and transporters.
The NTPS launch aligns with the ministry’s broader programs, such as the Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme and the Trees Outside Forest Initiative, all geared towards promoting ease of doing business while ensuring environmental conservation and sustainability.