Centre increases limit on forest land use in Maoist-hit districts
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Last Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 21:34
Bhubaneswar: State governments can now set up public interest projects on upto five hectares of forest land in Maoist-affected districts without seeking permission from Centre instead of two hectare earlier, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.

"The Centre has decided to increase the limit from two hectare of forest land to five hectare in Maoist hit areas," Ramesh told reporters here, adding the new 'freedom' to the states on use of forest land would help in combating Left Wing Extremism.

Ramesh said 60 Maoist-hit districts including 19 in Orissa would receive benefit.

"The state governments can set up public interest projects like schools, hospitals, housing for security personnel on five hectare of forest land without seeking permission from the MoEF," the union minister told reporters here.

Though many Maoist-hit states have improved road connectivity, there was lack of bridges in the tri-junction of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattishgarh.

"Rebels find it easy to escape through river routes as security personnel fail to reach them due to lack of bridges," he said.

The minister expressed surprise how Orissa failed to build a bridge over river Gurupriya for years together. "Had there been a bridge over Gurupriya, many problems might have been avoided," he said.


First Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 21:34

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