Press Note: Van Adhikar Manch Members meet CM and High Powered Committee, Submit Memorandum on Forest Rights Act implementation, 6th February 2017
Himachal Van Adhikar Manch members Akshay Jasrotia, Prakash bhandari, Pavana Kumari ( Kangra) Jeet ram and Guman Singh (Shilai) Ranjeet Sharma ( Bilaspur) Uma mahajan ( Chamba) met the Chief Minister, Shri Vir Bhadra Singh and the High Powered Committee on Encroachments today. The Manch submitted a detailed memorandum with the demand to use provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006 to protect the interests of the small farmers and forest dependent communities in the State.
“In Himachal which has a huge population of approximately more than 1.5 lakhs families of Gaddis, Gujjars, and other pastoral communities and medicinal plant collectors who are directly dependent on forest land for livelihood. Close to 1.65 lakh families who have applied under 2002 encroachment regularisation. These communities interests must be protected by the full implementation of the FRA”, said the memorandum. Many of these communities currently face the threat of forced removal of their occupations given the High Court of April 2015.Members of the Manch added, “Section 3 (2) of the Act has already been implemented by the State of Himachal Pradesh with a clear instruction from the Chief Minister in the whole of Himachal, as per the guidelines from MoTA., (letter dated 14th December 2015). In a similar way, the state government should show it’s commitment to implement the section 3(1) of the Act which recognizes individual and community rights for their bonafide livelihood needs”.
The CM in response assured the delegation of the Manch that the government is committed to implement section 3 (1) of the Forest Rights Act 2006, and directed members of the High Powered Committee present to consider the same . The members of the High Powered Committee include – Shri Nand Lal (CPS) and Shri Karan Singh (Minister), Shri Rohit Thakur, CPS, Shri Tarun Kapoor, Forests Secretary and Law Secretary Shri Baldev Thakur. Earlier the Manch members also apprised the HPC of the nuances of the FRA 2006 . “We appreciate the positive response of the government and the committee to the recommendations and observations presented by us and hope that they would take the necessary steps to implement this pro-people act”, added, Akshay Jasrotia, of Himachal Van Adhikar Manch.
Issued by Himachal Van Adhikar Manch