'Officials need more clarity on Forest Rights Act'

Director of Scheduled Tribes Development department has said that officials need more clarity on the Forest Rights Act (FRA).

He was addressing a gathering during a workshop on ‘Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, implementation in Karnataka’, organised by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute (KSRTI), and Mula Adivasi Study Centre, at the Administrative Training Institute, here on Monday.

“There is a problem in issuing title deeds for the lands allotted to the tribals under the Forest Rights Act. The officials such as assistant commissioners and range forest officers need more clarity about the Act. The district and taluk-level committees constituted to allot lands to the tribals, should comprise people’s representatives,” he said.

Revanappa said, there was a problem in issuing title deeds to the beneficiaries in Shivamogga and North Karnataka districts. However, the problem has been solved and a majority of the people have obtained the title deeds.

According to him, in Ramanagaram, Chitradurga and Davanagere districts there has been slow progress in allotment of lands to the tribal people. The director said, as much as 14,000 acres of land has been allotted to 12,978 people and 44,000 acres of land has been provided under Community Rights. As many as 36,000 applications for lands under FRA have been rejected, he said.

He said that the beneficiaries are not able to get loans from the cooperative sector as their names have not been included in column 11 of RTC and the department has urged the deputy commissioners of all districts to take measures to include the names. The process would be completed soon.

Revanappa said that in order to encourage tribal people to cultivate coffee, the department has provided Rs 2 crore to the Coffee Board to distribute seedlings and other required items. Another Rs 5 crore has been earmarked to encourage the cultivation of both coffee and pepper, he added.

He said that the state and Union governments have been introducing various programmes for the uplift of the tribal community and people should utilise the available benefits.

KSTRI Director T T Basavanagowda said the workshop aims to gather the opinion of the tribal community leaders about the implementation of the FRA. Though the Act was enacted in 2006, it was not implemented fully due to certain reasons, he said.

DH News Service

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