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Many villages in Keonjhar District unaware of the CFR rights:CSD

Many villages in Keonjhar District unaware of the CFR rights:CSD

3Keonjhar .07.10.2016 (Report Sanjit Kumar Mohanty)- After visiting many villages of Telkoi Block in Keonjhar district, members of Campaign for Survival and Dignity(CSD) alleged that the Keonjhar district administration has failed to make forest dwellers aware of their community forest rights recognised under FRA, 2006 even after 10 years of passing of the Act. CSD claims that many villages in the Keonjhar district are unaware of the Community forest rights and rights over Community Forest Resources (CFR) recognised under after. On 3rd October, CSD members visited Kulanga and Bolangisahi revenue villages coming under Telkoi block of Keonjhar District. This is one of the villages among 20 villages where CFP, an NGO is facilitating CFR and IFR claims. On the same day CFP had organised an awareness programme in the village Kulanga.“As per the community people, the village was settled before 150 years. Geographically, the village is sounded by Nuagaoanand Bolangisahi revenue villages from the East, Bhaliasahi revenue village inWest, Ranibeda revenue village in the North and Kanabirareserve forest from the South.”As per the census 2011, there are 113 households in the village having 494 Population including 338 STs (Gond and Munda) and 98 SCs.  As per the RoR there are 300.1 acres of community land(the so called Govt. land) available in the village including 203.56 acres are forest land within the revenue boundary. However, since the Kanabira reserve forest is adjacent to this village in the South, the approximate CFR area would be around 1500 acres. As per the DLC report, only 21 IFR titles have been issues over 33.07 acres of forest land including 5 titles over reserve forest land too.  These 21 IFR titles also include IFR titles holders from neighbouring village Bolangisahi. However, as per the community people RI/Amen had come to the village but they did not do plot to plot demarcation of the land recognised under FRA, as a result the actual area under occupation has not been recognised. Despite many STs and OTFDs occupying over forest land from generations, many of them are yet to file their IFR claims. Besides, no OTFDs have got IFR titles in the village. From the interaction with the community people, it was found that they were unaware of the community forest rights and rights over forest duly recognised under section 3(1) (i). There is a VSS formed in the village before 15 years.“However, after discussion on rights recognised under FRA, the community people of village Kulangahave decided to file their CFR claim in ‘b’ and ‘c’ forms and will establish their rights over forest. Also they have committed to form forest protection and management committee as per FRA and dissolve the VSS formed in the village by the Forest Department.”“This is the status of FRA implementation more or less of every village in Keounjhar district where district administration claims that by 31st July 2016, 49,830 IFR titles(second highest after Kandhamal)  have been issued over 43095.38 acres of forest land including 4907 IFR titles to JuangaPVTGs/PTGs in Banspal block. Thus the average forest land recognised in the district is 0.86 acres which is even much less than the State average of 1.52 acres.  Besides, as per the DLC report,462 CFR titles(331 against B form and 131 against C form) have been issued over 22535.61 acres of forest land.” CSD members said. However, ManoharChauhan, one of the CSD member said, “While the CFR area recognised under B and C would be the same, the DLC has arbitrarily repeated the CFR against both B and C claims. Again DLC reports that out of the 462 CFR titles issued, 205 are issued under Section 3(2) of FRA meant for developmental purpose over 259.36 acres of forest land. Thus the forest land and titles reported under CFR is confused and misleading one.” 4

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