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Minister caution on mining

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  • Published 29.06.13

New Delhi, June 28: Union tribal affairs minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo has in a letter to the Prime Minister accused the environment ministry of “blatantly” ignoring the interests of tribals while clearing mining projects.

Deo has underlined how the environment ministry and the forest advisory committee (FAC) ignore the Forest Rights Act while allowing mining projects in Schedule-V areas.

“God forbid the eventuality when the FAC is perceived as a greater threat to the nation than even extremists,” Deo wrote on June 10.

The ministry of tribal affairs is the nodal agency for implementation of the Forest Rights Act. However, the forest advisory committee on whose advice the environment ministry clears mining projects in Schedule-V areas does not have any representative from the tribal affairs ministry.

“Keeping in view that the diversion of forest land affects the rights of forest dwellers, it would be appropriate if this ministry were to be represented on the forest advisory committee,” Deo wrote.

The Constitution confers Schedule-V status on tribal-dominated areas.