SRINAGAR: Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma today reviewed the progress in implementation of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act and related measures for expeditious disposal of cases. A number of measures for tribal welfare were also discussed. He called for concerted efforts of district and sub-divisional committees to ensure effective implementation.

Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Choudhary, PCCF J&K Dr Mohit Gera attended the meeting and discussed a host of initiatives aimed at tribal welfare and community centric conservation. Deputy Commissioners, Addl DCs, DFOs , Asstt Commissioners Panchayat and members of District and Sub-Divisional Level Committees attended the meeting through videoconference.

Sanjeev Verma reviewed the district wise progress in receipt and disposal of cases related to community claims and individual claims under the Forest Rights Act for conferment of various rights. He asked the DCs and DFOs for expediting disposal of cases in a time-bound manner and called upon the officers for proper documentation of initiatives and developments benefitting the tribal communities with implementation of the Act. He impressed upon DFOs and revenue officers for timely verification to ensure timely disposal of cases submitted for individual and community rights.

Secretary, Tribal Affairs asked the Deputy Commissioners and DFOs as well as DLCs and SLDCs for real-time updation of approved and rejected applications on website, nomination of staff for training to maintain the FRA portal developed by Tribal Research Institute, facilitate the district wise workshops being planned by the TRI for creating awareness among Panchayati Raj Institutions for proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act and development of infrastructure in tribal areas. He also discussed about development of facilities in Dhoks (highland pastures) being rolled out by tribal department, coverage of forest dependent tribal population under Van Dhan Scheme covering minor forest produce (MFP) and agricultural produce, community support system in tribal areas and inter-sectoral convergence.

PCCF Dr Mohit Gera discussed with DFOs about the measures for effective implementation of The Forest Rights Act, provisions related to identification of bonafide beneficiaries, community involvement in conservation, focused steps for community rights centric development and individual rights under the Act, data accuracy and transparency in implementation process. He also discussed about training and capacity building measures required at local level which the department is actively supporting.

Discussion was also held about ensuring inclusion of facilitating the Transhumant tribal population returning from highland pastures  as a part of annual tribal migration. The Transhumant tribal population will be covered under the Forest Rights Act through outreach activities to be organised at village level jointly by the departments.



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