Expressing his reservations about the Centre’s Forest Conservation Rules 2022, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the “brazenly dilution” powers of local gram sabha and “uprooting” the rights of forest-dwelling communities.

In a letter, the chief minister urged PM Modi to bring about changes in the Forest Conservation Rules 2022 that will establish systems and procedures that protect the rights of the tribal and forest communities in the country.

Soren requested him to re-evaluate and re-examine the Forest Conservation Rules, 2022.

“To bring under his notice the plight of the indigenous communities of the state who are known to worship nature in various forms and the ones who will be severely impacted by the Forest Conservation Rules 2022,” Soren said in his letter written on Friday.

He further stated that the mandatory requirements of obtaining the prior consent of the Gram Sabha for utilizing forest land for non-forestry purposes has been shockingly obliterated in the new notification of 2022.

“This has created a situation where once forest clearance is granted everything else becomes a mere formality and the state government finds itself under even greater pressure from the centre to accelerate the diversion of forest land,” Jharkhand CM said.

Emphasising sustainable practices, Soren defended the rights of the tribals.

“An estimated 200 million people across India depend on forests for their primary livelihood, and around 100 million people live on land classified as forests. These new rules will end up uprooting the rights of these people who have called the forests their homes for generations. It is the need of the hour to employ sustainable practices so that we can collectively embark on the path of progress with inclusivity as the core idea,” the letter by Soren reads, urging Modi to relook at the Forest Conservation Rules 2022 and maintain systems and procedures that protect the rights of the tribals and forest communities in the country. (ANI)