The Indian government has diverted over 20,000 hectares (the size of Kolkata) of forest area for developmental activities such as mining, thermal power plants, dams, road, railways and irrigation projects in the past three years (2015-18) across India.
According to the official data revealed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Parliament in December 2018, a total of 20,314.12 hectares of forest land was diverted in three years 2015-2018 (till December 13, 2018). During this period, the government received a total of 4,552 proposals and of those 1,280 (28.11 per cent) got approved.
Under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, forest areas can be diverted by the environment ministry for non-forestry purposes like mining. In lieu of the land, money is collected by the government which is then used by the authorities for afforestation. Read More