Chhattisgarh: 17 villages of Hasdeo Aranya get Community Forest Management rights - Hindustan Times
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Chhattisgarh: 17 villages of Hasdeo Aranya get Community Forest Management rights

Mar 19, 2024 10:36 AM IST

These titles have been recognised in areas that were marked for nine coal blocks in Korba district including Paturia, Gidhmudi, Madanpur South, and coal bearing areas

Seventeen gram sabhas (villages) of Hasdeo Aranya Forest in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district have received Community Forest Management (CFM) rights to protect, conserve and manage their forests under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, officials said.

In 2021, the residents of these villages participated in the 300-km padyatra to Raipur to meet the governor and the chief minister with a demand to protect the forests. (Representative Image)
In 2021, the residents of these villages participated in the 300-km padyatra to Raipur to meet the governor and the chief minister with a demand to protect the forests. (Representative Image)

These titles have been recognised in areas that were marked for nine coal blocks in Korba district including Paturia, Gidhmudi, Madanpur South, and coal bearing areas.

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“We have given the CFM rights under Forest Right Act 2006 in the last one week. As per the Act, the villagers have now the right to protect, regenerate, conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use,” said Ajeet Vasant, district collector, Korba.

“For a long time, these villages were denied their rights enshrined under the Forest Rights Act owing to the presence of these coal mines despite the initial claims being filed more than a decade ago,” said Alok Shukla, convenor of the Chhattisgarh Bachaao Andolan.

In 2021, the residents of these villages participated in the 300-km padyatra to Raipur to meet the governor and the chief minister with a demand to protect the forests known as the “Lungs of Chhattisgarh”.

As a result of sustained resistance and persistent efforts of the local gram sabhas, the region became part of the 1,995-square kilometre Lemru Elephant Reserve area.

“It is only after the notification of the elephant reserve that the threat of coal mining was reversed in these forests as these nine coal blocks were withdrawn and two already allocated coal blocks were cancelled,” Shukla said.

“These villages are now entrusted with the rights to constitute their Community Forest Management Committees (CFMCs) for conservation and management of forest resources. These committees shall now prepare working plans for rejuvenation and management of the forests and biodiversity, for which a specific budget has also been allocated,” said Shukla.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    State Correspondent for Chhattisgarh. Reports Maoism, Politics, Mining and important developments from the state. Covered all sorts of extremism in Central India. Reported from Madhya Pradesh for eight years.

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