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Govt nudges forest dwellers to report ‘obstruction’ to farming



The state government has said that the people from scheduled tribes’ community and other traditional forest dwellers can report to the Tribal Welfare department if the forest officials are not allowing or obstructing them from cultivating chillies and other seasonal vegetables on the land that they have claimed under the Forests Rights Act, 2006.

The state-level monitoring committee meeting under the provisions of the Forests Rights Act, 2006 held on Monday at the Secretariat to discuss on preparation of compliance for timely filing of affidavit before the Supreme Court which had on February 13, 2019 and February 28, 2019 passed orders directing 21 state governments including Goa to indicate, by way of a affidavit as to why after the rejection of claims, which have obtained finality, eviction order has not been passed.

When some members raised the issue of alleged aggression by forest officials towards the tribal people, especially in talukas like Canacona, Quepem and Sanguem, who have been cultivating chillies and other vegetables on the land claimed by them under the Forests Rights Act, a senior IAS officer W V R Murthy, who chaired the meeting in the absence of the Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, said that if such incidents are taking place in any part of the state, the tribal people should bring it to the notice of the tribal welfare department.

As of now, though there are 47 rejected claims under Forests Rights Act in the state of Goa, there is no single case where final rejection order has been passed.

It was informed in the meeting that out of 47 rejected claims, only two are under the process of suo moto review.

As per data, in all 6,094 forest rights claims have been filed by people from the scheduled tribes’ community out of which 5,834 are individual claims and 260 are community claims. Other traditional forest dwellers have filed 4,042 claims out of which 3,924 are individual claims and 118 are community claims.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the all states and Union Territories under the chairmanship of secretary of Union Ministry for Tribal Affairs has been convened on June 18 in New Delhi for a detailed discussion for getting prepared in the Supreme Court matter.

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