The letters written between June 2015 and December 2015 document a tug-of-war like scenario between the two ministries regarding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

A series of official letters exchanged between the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) indicates that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is in a clear mood to sidestep the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) in order to permit private underground mining in forest areas. The letters written between June 2015 and December 2015 document a tug-of-war like scenario between the two ministries regarding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act. While the MoTA has repeatedly made its stand clear that gram sabha’s informed consent, as mandated in the Act, was necessary for any diversion of forest land towards industrial projects, the MoEFCC seems to be adamant on diluting this significant clause. Read more