No such report submitted after law became applicable to UT in 2019
By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: The Government of India has asked Jammu & Kashmir administration to submit monthly progress reports about implementation of Forest Rights Act in the Union Territory.
Documents in possession of the Precious Kashmir reveal that Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India has asked administration of the UT to submit monthly MPR about implementation of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act-2006. “MPR for the state has not been submitted to MOTA since FRA was made applicable in the State in 2019. State was asked to send the report to MOTA on monthly basis,” read the minutes of the meeting chaired by the Secretary, Tribal Affairs, Government of India between June 7 to June 15 to review different issues with States and UTs.
The FRA became applicable to J&K from October 31, 2019 after the Parliament approved its extension to the UT under The Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act.
Under the Act, members of the Scheduled Tribes dwelling in the forests along with other traditional residents will have the right over forestland for habitation or self-cultivation or livelihood.
The Act also allowed the use of upto one hectare of forest land for developing government facilities, including schools, minor water bodies, and hospitals, on the recommendation of a Gram Sabha. The law empowers holders of forest rights and Gram Sabhas to protect the wildlife, biodiversity, catchment areas, and other environmentally sensitive areas. It further ensures that the habitats of forest dwellers are preserved from “any form of destructive practices affecting their cultural and natural heritage”.
As per 2011 census, 11.91 percent of J&K’s population comprises tribals.