CS takes up cudgels for tribals




Annoyed over the slow pace of work of disposing of claims received under the Schedule Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 in the state, Chief Secretary Parimal Rai on Thursday directed the officials concerned during a meeting of the State-Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) headed by him to chalk out a time-bound schedule of granting approvals to the claims and also to list out roadblocks in processing the cases.

Sources informed that while reviewing the progress and implementation of forest rights act, 2006 in SLMC meeting, the Chief Secretary also directed the secretary of tribal welfare to seek clarification from the central government over second evidence that needs to be produced for forest right claims by the tribals.

Points such as final demarcation of claims approved by the District Level Committee, inclusion of name of the beneficiaries in form I & XIV and updating of record of rights including survey plans, non-submission of information and report sought by the Collector North and South to the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, non-utilisation of funds allotted to the Collectors, the directorate of settlement and land records and deputy collectors were discussed in the SLMC meeting.

On rejection of claims, South Goa Collector Ajit Roy said that such claims are being reviewed by the district level committee, sources said.

It was also informed that a meeting will be held in New Delhi on February 24, 2020 under the chairmanship of secretary of the ministry of tribal affairs for detailed discussion on the progress of reviewing of rejected claims under FRA, 2006, and arriving at finalised rejection within the time extension, sought by the state governments in their affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in compliance with order passed on February 28, 2019.

The Chief Secretary further instructed the official concerned to take up on a taluka level on pilot basis the digitising and monitoring of the status of forest rights claims by using Google drive.

As per the status report placed before the SLMC, only 17 claims out of 2,450 have been approved by the DLC for title and nine titles have been distributed in Canacona taluka. In the case of Dharbandora taluka, out of 1,704 claims only 10 have been approved by the district level committee and five have been distributed titles.

In Quepem 30 claims out of 1,820 have been approved by the DLC; however, no title has been distributed so far, whereas in Sanguem 60 claims out of 1,067 have been approved and 11 titles have been distributed.

In Ponda out of 256 claims only three have been approved by the DLC, but no title has been distributed so far. In the case of Sattari, 40 claims out of 2,461 have been approved by the DLC and 18 titles have been distributed.