Chhattisgarh loses revenue as Maoists dominate forests

Raipur, Aug 12 (IANS) About 55 percent of Chhattisgarh’s forests are dominated by Maoists and the government suffers a revenue loss due to its inability to operate in these area, an official said Thursday.

‘The forest department suffers an annual losses of about Rs.100 crore because we are not able to work in these area,’ Principal Chief Conservator of Forests R.K. Sharma told IANS.

‘The department failed to operate in these areas and earn revenue through forest produces,’ said Sharma.

Twelve percent of India’s forests are in Chhattisgarh and 44 percent of the state’s total area is under forests.

Chhattisgarh is spread over 136,034 square km and the state is known as one of the richest bio-diversity habitats.

Its forests are rich in wildlife and over 200 non-timber forest products, including medicinal, aromatic and dye plants.

According to officials, 13 out of total 18 districts in the state are hit by Maoists and seven of them are their strongholds since late 1980s.

The seven districts Bijapur, Dantewada, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Surguja have thick forests.

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