After the enactment of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, State Governments faced problems in taking up non-forestry developmental activities relating to infrastructure for improving socio-economic conditions of people living in the villages located in the forest areas. Consequent to the intervention of this Ministry, steps like stopping of illegal eviction of genuine tribal people living in the forests, allowing diversion of forest lands for providing the basic and essential developmental facilities to the tribal/forest villages etc have been achieved.
This programme was launched during the 10th Plan as a one time measure with for Integrated development of 2690 forest villages originally identified with about 2.5 lakh tribal families with a view to:
i. raise the Human Development Index (HDI) of the inhabitants of the Forest Villages
ii. provide basic facilities and services like food, safe drinking water, health care, primary education, approach roads, other infrastructural facilities etc.
During the 10th Five Year Plan, Rs. 450 crore was allocated to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for the development of forest villages under Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Plan (SCA to TSP).
Presently there are 2,474 forest villages/ habitations (reduced from the original 2,690) spread over 12 States (reduced from the original 13 States)