Centre seeks regular feedback on Forest Dwellers Act

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) In an effort to closely monitor the implementation of Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (recognition of forests rights) Act, the Centre today urged the states to post it with a regular feedback.

Reviewing the progress in the Act's implementation, Mr G B Mukherjee, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, asked the states to complete the formation of Forest Rights Committee (FRC) and invite the claims of the tribals and forest dwellers for the recognition of forest rights as early as possible.

Expressing concern over slow implementation of various components of the Act, Mr Mukherjee said training of grass root functionaries, including the members of the FRC, should be taken up immediately.

''Printing of the Act and rules in local dialects and regional languages and involving NGOs would also be helpful,'' he said.

In the meeting, Andhra Pradesh representatives apprised that the FRCs had received 96,053 claims and had verified 31,000 and forwarding them to sub-division committee for further action. Those from Madhya Pradesh said they had received over 50,000 claims seeking recognition of forest rights while neighbouring Chhattisgarh representatives said it had received over 70,000 claims. The states informed that verification of claims of both States is expected in June. Maharashtra and West Bengal representatives told the meeting that they would invite claims next month after training their officials.

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