Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 2 September 2014 approved diversion of forest land to fight Maoists. The forest land under the Forest Conservation (FC) Act of 1980 will be diverted to construct all categories of public roads.
The move is aimed at expediting the creation of road infrastructure in LWE affected districts to enable the security forces to effectively combat Maoists.
These public roads will be constructed in all the forestland areas falling under 117 Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected districts of the country. However, the approval will not be extended for the roads which were falls under the protected areas.
Further, relaxation under the FC Act has been extended for diversion of forestland from the present one hectare to five hectares for execution of public utility projects of 15 specified categories in 117 LWE districts.
These categories are schools, dispensaries, hospitals, medical colleges, electrical and telecommunication lines, drinking water, non-conventional sources of energy, skill upgradation, power sub-stations etc.
All categories of public roads, including communication posts, police establishments like stations, outposts, border outposts, watch towers in sensitive areas underground laying of optical fibre cables, telephone lines etc. are also included.
About LWE affected districts
117 LWE districts are spread over several States in India. These States include Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
While, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar are considered severely affected. On the other hand, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are considered partially affected. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are considered slightly affected.
When: 2 September 2014
Why: to fight Maoists