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Home / India News / Chhattisgarh to provide urban forest land under FRA to tribals for household purposes

Chhattisgarh to provide urban forest land under FRA to tribals for household purposes

The Bhupesh Baghel-led government on Monday claimed that Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to provide such an entitlement.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2020 15:07 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Tribals and other traditional forest-dwellers will be provided urban forestland under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers by Chhattisgarh government
Tribals and other traditional forest-dwellers will be provided urban forestland under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers by Chhattisgarh government(HT File photo)

Chhattisgarh government has decided to provide urban forestland under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, to the tribals and other traditional forest-dwellers for household purposes.

The Bhupesh Baghel-led government on Monday claimed that Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to provide such an entitlement.

“It’s a matter of pride and satisfaction that Jagdalpur Municipal Corporation (JMC) is the first in the country, which has provided land entitlement under Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, to urban tribal residents,” CM Baghel stated via a social media post.

The government cited that 11 families, who are living under the jurisdiction of JMC, were given the rights on Sunday.

“For providing rights of urban forestlands, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and the guidelines of the Central government issued in 2015 were followed by the state government. On a pilot basis, 11 tribal families were given pattas for urban forestland for household purposes. There are about 4,500 tribals and other traditional forest-dwellers, who have applied for the rights over urban forestlands ... The process of recognising their forest rights have been initiated. Soon, other eligible families will be handed over similar land rights,” stated a press release issued by the state government.

On Sunday, the pattas were handed over to the beneficiaries by the Bastar’s Member of Parliament (MP) Deepak Baij.

“The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, recognises rights on forest land of tribals and other traditional forest-dwellers in both rural and urban areas. The process of recognising individual forest rights on the forestlands of the urban area in Chhattisgarh is a welcome step. However, there is a need to implement the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, more effectively and in a coordinated manner throughout the state,” said Alok Shukla, a tribal rights activist and the convener of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan (CBO), a pressure group.

An official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) told HT that the entitlement would be given to tribals across the state.

“The state government is working on the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Our aim is to benefit each and every tribal family amid the hard times triggered by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic,” said the official.

Chhattisgarh public relations (PR) department’s record showed that 4,84,975 individual and community forest rights certificates have been distributed to tribals to date spread over 50.16 lakh acres of forestland.

The state govermment also claimed that Chhattisgarh tops the list in handing out forest rights certificates, followed by Madhya Pradesh (2,56,99), Maharashtra (1,72,116), Odisha (4,43,000), and Gujarat (93,704).

“So far, in individual claims, recognition was given to over 9.18 lakh acres of land and 4,41,429 forest rights certificates were distributed. Another 40.97 lakh acres of land in community claims were settled and 43,546 forest rights certificates were distributed,” said a PR official.

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