Activists lament dilution of tribal rights as Environment Ministry amends 2009 circular

Gram sabhas in forest areas have been stripped of their power to approve or reject proposals for the diversion of their forest lands for building roads, transmission lines, canals or other linear projects. In a move that activists have slammed as being a dilution of the rights of tribal people and other forest dwellers, the Environment Ministry on Tuesday amended its critical August 2009 circular dealing with the implementation of the Forest Rights Act.