New Delhi: The forest and environment issues will not be a bottleneck in the path of development in the Naxal-affected areas. The government has decided to double the development work in forest land to check the Maoist aggression.

The decision was taken after Union Home Ministry, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Planning Commission held meeting. The developmental work which was carried out only on one hectare of land will now be expanded to two hectares in the affected areas.

After initiating its integrated action plan in the Maoist affected areas, the government realized to explore other options to push its development schemes. Since the Forest Laws being major hurdle for the development in tribals areas, the government had amended the rules five years ago, allowing works in the areas of one hectare under the schemes, but the initiative failed to meet its target.

In November 2010, Union Home Minister, Tribal Affairs Minister and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission held meeting and agreed that the Forest Ministry had to play an active role in this regard.

They came to a conclusion that two hectares of land could be utilized for development including school, hospital, drinking water, rural roads and electricity. The Forest Ministry was asked not to delay giving its nod for development work.

In the government’s integrated action plan, as many as 83 affected districts have been included, which may be extended by the Union Home Ministry.

According to reports, the new provisions would be implemented by December 2015.

JPN/ Bureau