4 lakh individual and 24 thousand community forest rights certificates distributed in CG
Recognition given to 3.42 lakh hectare land in individual claims and 9.50 lakh hectare land in community claims
Process of resolving rejected claims begins on CMs instruction
Raipur, August 13
Chhattisgarh has become the second state in the country to provide recognition to acquired forest lands by scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.
So far, more than four lakh individual forest rights certificates have been distributed, providing recognition to 3 lakh 42 thousand hectare forestland. Whereas, more than 24 thousand community forest rights certificates have been distributed providing recognition to 9 lakh 50 thousand hectare forestland.
According to the figures by Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Orissa is number one state in distribution of forest rights certificates while Maharashtra is number one in providing recognition to forest lands. Chhattisgarh, on the other hand comes number two in the list of both the categories.
Soon after taking charge on January 23 as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel organized a state-level workshop on forest rights and reviewed its implementation. He said that it is the state governments priority to provide forest rights to all claimants of forest rights certificates. The government will also assure that residents in each village get classified community forest rights.
The chief minister himself participated in division-level workshops on forest rights at Bastar division headquarters Jagdalpur on May 30 and Sarguja division headquarters Ambikapur on June 3 to encourage ground level workers and provided guidance for its better implementation.
During the workshop, it was found out that due to procedural shortcomings a large number of forest rights claims have been rejected. On this the chief minister issued directions to review rejected applications and provide forest rights to other conventional eligible forest rights beneficiaries. He also emphasized on empowerment of the lowest level forest rights committees.
As a result of which, directions have been issued to each collector and forest officer for reorganization of forest rights committees at village level. Simultaneously directions have also been issued for formation of district level committees and departments.
After reorganization of these committees, claims received from these committees after verification will be reviewed again. In the first phase, those claims that have been rejected earlier will be considered. The number of such claims is more than 4 lakh in the state. In the second phase, those applications will be taken for review in which certificates have been issued but discrepancies have been found between area of claimed and approved land.
Forest Rights Act 2006 has been implemented to provide recognition to local communities having acquired forest land rights.