The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the work done by Goa government for the welfare of the tribal community in the state.
The Commission has directed the state government to carry out a special drive for filling up the backlog vacancies reserved for ST people in various departments and given a six-month time period to settle all the claims received under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
A team of NCST headed by chairperson Dr Nand Kumar Sai was in Goa for a two-day visit to review the work carried out by the state government for the welfare of the tribal community and issues pertaining to job recruitment, education, implementation of Forest rights Act etc.
Addressing media after a review meeting with state government officials at the Secretariat in Porvorim, Dr Sai said that the team has taken a review of various issues related to the ST community of Goa by holding meetings with South Goa Collector, MPT, Goa Shipyard Limited and officials of the state government.
“After taking review, we found that the state government is far behind in implementing Forest rights Act, 2006. Moreover, we also came to know that the state government has not constituted Tribal Advisory Council as per provision of the Constitution
of India. The issue of non-filling of backlog vacancies and inappropriate implementation of tribal sub plan was also brought to our notice,” he said.
As far as implementation of the Forest rights Act is concerned, Sai said that the Commission has provided suggestions like conducting satellite survey of forest land encroachment regarding claims for ownership rights by tribals as per provisions under the Act, how to complete quorum of gram sabhas for forest right claims etc.
“I have written a letter to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar pointing out that the tribal advisory council constituted by the state government is not as per provision of the Constitution of India. I have directed the government to take corrective steps in this regard,” the NCST chairperson said. He also said that fund under tribal sub plan has not been implemented properly in the state. Besides, there is a need to expedite the process for filling up backlog posts reserved for ST community in various departments by carrying out a special drive, he said. Further, he said that a discussion was also held on hindrances faced in notifying scheduled areas in the state of Goa.
Vice-chairperson of the Commission Anusuiya Uikey warned that the Commission has powers to take action against the state government if it fails to implement schemes and laws, which are meant to protect interests of the tribal community.
Meanwhile, the Commission also said that it will take up the matter of political reservation for ST in Goa assembly with the Election Commission of India.