Raipur: Chhattisgarh has emerged as a leading state in terms of recognition of individual and community forest rights, across the nation under the leadership and guidance of the Chief Minister Mr Bhupesh Baghel. Till now, more than 4 lakh 41 thousand individual and more than 46 thousand community forest rights have been distributed to the Scheduled Tribes community and other traditional forest dwellers. In this manner, 51 lakh 06 thousand acres of individual and community forest rights have been distributed to local communities in the state. 1 hectare of forest land has been recognized for forest rights holders on an average, which is comparatively better than the rest of the nation.
On the prestigious occasion of 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October, around 13 hundred community forest resource conservation rights of more than 5 lakh hectares, was distributed virtually by the Chief Minister through video conferencing at his residence office. Community forest resource rights in the state have been conferred on the Gram Sabhas.
The area of more than 4 lakh 41 thousand individual forest rights papers distributed in the state, accounts for more than 9 lakh 41 thousand 800 acres. Similarly, the area of more than 46 thousand community forest rights papers, accounts for more than 41 lakh 64 thousand 700 acres. For the first time in the state, the state government has provided consent and recognition to the Gram Sabhas, regarding the management of 26 thousand hectares of forest land, under 23 cases of community forest resource rights after January 2019.
The recognized beneficiaries are not only handed over the forest rights letter, but they are being provided with various facilities like irrigation, manure-seeds, agricultural inputs by the convergence and integration of government-run schemes on their recognized forest lands.
So far, one lakh 49 thousand 762 beneficiaries in the state have been benefited by land levelling and fencing. The area of their land accounts for more than 58 thousand hectares. Levelling and fencing work was conducted on the beneficiaries lands who availed the forest rights. Manure-seeds and agricultural inputs have also been provided to them.
Additionally, Irrigation facility has been provided on more than 11 thousand hectares of land, accounting to more than 41 thousand beneficiaries in the state. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, more than 95 thousand villagers have received housing facilities, and more than 2 lakh beneficiaries have been provided with Kisan Samman Nidhi. Irrigation facilities have been provided, in order to increase the crop production capacity of their land and raising their income leading to stable livelihood. Fruit and forest produce plants are being planted on the rams of the fields of forest right holders.
The provisions of the Forest Rights Act are meant to provide the Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dweller families, a life which they deserve comprising of their rights, self-reliance and respect. Community forest rights include the right of disposal, ownership of minor forest produce, right to use fish and water bodies products, grazing, especially the habitat of vulnerable tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities. Under this, in the past till September, 14 thousand 970 community forest right papers have been provided for 9 lakh 74 thousand 635 hectares of forest land. Apart from this, the right of conservation, revival and management of community forest resources has also been given under Community Forest Rights. The management plan will be prepared and implemented under the guidance of the Forest Department for the conservation, development and management of forests, wildlife and biodiversity by the Gram Sabha in the forest area. This will ensure availability of resources for conservation of forests, development and livelihood of villagers. Similarly, 97 community forest resource rights papers have been provided for 81 thousand 358 hectares of forest land, up till September.
Under the Forest Rights Act 2006,1158 hectares of forest land has been provided to various departments for conducting 2309 projects regarding 13 purposes from centres, roads and community centres, which will include the provision of
public facilities such as schools, dispensaries, anganwadis, fair price shops, electrical and telecom lines, tanks and small reservoirs, drinking water supply and water pipelines, water or rainwater harvesting structures, minor irrigation canals, unconventional Energy sources, skill up-gradation or professional training.
With an aim to make the forest dwellers self-reliant by providing resources of extra income along with a life of respect, individual and community forest right holders of 1110 hectares of land, will be provided with 1150 hectares of irrigated land to plant fruits, small forest produce and medicinal plantations, vegetable production, etc, who’s implementation is under the scheme of MNREGA.