After Odisha, Chhattisgarh recognises forest rights claims

Hindustan Times

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh has become the second state in the country after Odisha to give recognition to forest lands acquired by scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, according to a government statement

So far, 400,000 individual and 24,000 community forest rights certificates have been distributed in the state while according recognition to 342,000 hectares of land in individual claims and 950,000 hectares of land in community claims, the statement released on Tuesday said

Soon after taking charge on January 23 as chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel organised a state-level workshop on forest rights and reviewed its implementation.

He said that it is the state government's priority to provide forest rights to all claimants of forest rights certificates,' said Taran Prakash Sinha, director public relations, Chhattisgarh government.

Sinha further said that during the workshop, it was found out that a large number of claims have been rejected because of procedural shortcomings. On this, the CM issued directions to review rejected applications and provide certificates to eligible beneficiaries, Sinha added.

Directions have been issued to each collector and forest officer for reorganisation of forest rights committees at village level. Simultaneously, directions have also been issued for formation of district-level committees and departments,' Sinha said.

After reorganization of these committees, the claims that were rejected will be reviewed again.

'In the first phase, those claims that have been rejected earlier will be considered. The number of such claims is more than 4 lakh in the state. In the second phase, those applications will be taken for review in which certificates have been issued but discrepancies have been found between areas of claimed and approved land,' Sinha said.

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