Rajouri: Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Rajesh K Shavan, on Friday convened a meeting with the concerned officers and Forest Right Committee members to review the implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the district.
The meeting was attended by the ADC Rajouri, Sher Singh; ADC Sunderbani, Vinod Kumar Behnal; ADC Nowshera, Sukhdev Singh Sambayal; ADC Kalakote, Krishan Lal; ADC Koteranka, Surinder Mohan Sharma; Additional SP, Liyaqat Chowdhury; CPO, Mohammad Khurshid; SDM Thanamandi, Zakir Hussain; DFO Rajouri,Dr.Arshdeep; DFO Nowshera, Suresh Manda; DPO, Chander Kant Bhagat; DTO, Wakeel Ahmed Bhatt besides other concerned officers and Forest Right Committee members were also present in the meeting.
At the outset, the DFO Rajouri informed the meeting that FRA recognizes rights of forest dwellers on ancestral lands and their habitat which were not adequately recognized and it also includes responsibility and authority for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance.
He further informed that special training programmes for the field functionaries of the Forest, RDD and Revenue besides the PRIs have been organised to ensure systematic awareness of the Forest Rights at ground level.
The DFO said that district level, sub-divisional, tehsil level and panchayat level committees have been constituted to ensure the effective implementation of the Forest Right Act on the ground level. He also informed that the last date for receiving the claims from the applicants is 15th April this year. He said that special gram sabhas shall be organised in all the panchayats in which the FRC members along with a team of the field functionaries of the Forest RDD and Revenue shall receive the claims from the applicants and the claims collected at the panchayat level shall be sent to the tehsil level, sub divisional level and district level committees for further scrutiny of the applicants at their end.
He further informed that the claims from the applicants shall be received in a phased manner.In the first phase, the claims will be received from the applicants in four blocks including Seri, Panjgrain, Khawas and Mougla. In the second phase the claims will received in two blocks viz Nowshera and Sunderbani. Similarly all the blocks of the district shall be covered in a phased manner.
The Deputy Commissioner said the protection of the forest land and its resources is the duty of every citizen and directed the concerned officers and committee members to put in place dedicated efforts to achieve the desired results within a fixed time frame. He directed the FRC members to organise special awareness programmes for the traditional forest dwellers to make them aware about various aspects of the Act to ensure the proper implementation of the Forest Right Act on ground level.
He further directed them to develop a transparent mechanism to ensure that the rights of the genuine applicants are not violated.