Odisha: KJSM , CSD exposed discrepancies in CFR Recognition in Kalahandi District

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disha: KJSM , CSD exposed discrepancies in CFR Recognition in Kalahandi District

Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Bhawanipatna: In a press meet yesterday on dated 2nd November, 2016 at Srikrisha Hotel,Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi Jungle Surakhya Manch(KJSM), and Campaign for Survival and Dignity(CSD) Odisha exposed various discrepancies in the recognition of Community forest rights in the Kalahandi district. It is to be noted that Kalahandi District is coming under the Southern Zone of Odisha. As per the Govt. report there are 2068 revenue villages in Kalahandi District. Besides, many forest and un surveyed villages are there in the district. While the scheduled caste population constitutes only 18.17% of the total population the scheduled tribe constitutes 28.50%. Status of land in the district As per the Govt. of Odisha, the total geographical area of the district is 7920 Sq Km(1956240 acres) out of which 67.20 % is revenue land (other than revenue forest land) and only 32.80 % of the total area is forest land. Of the total forest land in the district, 41.90 per cent Revenue Forest Land while 55.81 % forest land is reserve forest. Besides, there are 2.29% is DLC forest land. As per the latest report produced by the FRA State level Committee(SLMC), by August, 2016, around 11,734 Individual Forest Rights(IFR) claims have been filed at the Gram Sabha level and only 10,563 IFR titles have been issued to STs over 6568 hectares of forest land. Likewise in total 327 community forest Rights claims have been filed at the Gram Sabha level and only 185 CFR titles have been recognized over 9603 Hectares of forest land. Joining the Press Meet, Pradip Prabhu, CSD national convenor shared the status and issues in recognition of community forest rights across the States. He criticised the Central Government for diluting the Forest Right Act, 2006 by bringing CAMPA Fund Act, 2016 bypassing the real authority of the Gram Sabha over the community forest resources(CFR). He further warned the Central Government “if the authority as established by FRA do not ensured in the CAPMPA Fund Rules to be framed, protest against Modi Government will start across the States.” Lochan Tandi President, KJSM addressing the media said “Kalahandi district has set an example for Community Forest Protection and Management in the State. There are around 975 villages with the KJSM who have been protecting their forest from last 1970s without the support of the Forest Department and out of these around 500 villages have already filed their community forest rights claims in both B and C forms at the SDLCs. However, the Forest Department officials have been non cooperative in recognizing CFR rights in the district. He also criticized the district administration to have developed CFR claim format violating FRA, 2006. He also alleged that in the first phage, in 2010 around 110 CFR titles in annexure III were arbitrarily prepared by the Forest Department putting approximate CFR area and most of these titles were issued in the name of the Vana Suraskhya Samiti(VSS) which is illegal. Even CFR area arbitrarily recognized under CFR are not reflected on the CFR titles. However the DLC maintains it which was found after filing RTI. Trinath Patro, Senior Member of KJSM showing the evidence of discrepancies over CFR data in the district said “There has been serious discrepancies on the data shown by the FRA District Level Committee(DLC) and also by FRA SLMC. While SLMC reports that only 185 CFR titles have been recognized over 9603 Hectares of forest land in the district by August 2016, Kalahandi FRA DLC reports of 249 CFR titles issued in the district by August, 2016 including 72 titles issued in annexure –IV duly claimed in ‘C’ form and 177 CFR titles issued in annexure –III duly claimed in ‘B’ from. Manohar Chauhan, Member CSD, Odisha sharing in the Press Meet said, “Despite FRA, 2006, Govt. of Odisha is illegally promoting VSS through different projects and schemes i.e Ama jungle Yojana by engaging NGOs. This can be effectively dealt only by the Gram Sabhas themselves. Sharing the dissolution of VSS by many villages in Bolangir district, he called upon the community people of Kalahandi district to dissolve VSS formed by the Forest Department using Section 6 of the FRA, 2006. Dr. Sricharan Behera, researcher emphasised on the rights and role of Gram Sabha recognised towards forest protection and management of Community Forest Resource (CFR) Area. He said once the Gram Sabha forms it’s Forest Protection and Management Committees (CP&MC) as under Section 4(1) (e) of FR Rules, 2007, the gram sabha can plan for CFR protection and management, will frame rules and seek fund from various line departments. He also emphasised on issuance of transit permit(TP) for transportation of Minor forest produce(MFP) by Gram Sabha itself and not to depend upon forest Department. Sudhansu Sekhar Deo, Forest rights activist, sharing the exemplary achievement of Jamguda village in M.Rampur block in the district by harvesting bamboo and establishing ownership rights over Bamboo, called upon other villages in the district to follow the same. KJSM also criticised the Forest Department, Kalahandi district for non-issuance of Tranjit Permit(TP) to the village Tarka Bahali for selling Bamboo. In the press meet, members of KJSM of Junagarh, M. Rampur, Jaypatana, Narla, Biswanbathapur and Kalampur blocks also participated and shared various FRA implementation issues. KJSM and CSD have demanded mass awareness on CFR by DLC, Kalahandi and recognition of CFR rights in the district. Both the sangathans also emanded dissolution of all 725 VSS formed by Forest Department in different villages in district. Source: http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=70546#sthash.0fV3A6GC.dpuf

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