Srinagar, Dec 01: The Jammu & Kashmir government on Tuesday set the ball rolling for implementation of Forest Rights Act-2006 in the Union Territory.
To begin with, the administration has constituted a Union Territory level monitoring committee, district level committee(s) and sub-divisional level committee(s) for implementation of law in the UT.
According to an order in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the UT level monitoring committee would be headed by chief Secretary and comprise of senior bureaucrats and officials from Forest, Revenue and Tribal Affairs departments.
The committee is mandated to devise criteria and indicators for monitoring the process of recognition and vesting of forest rights.
The panel has also been empowered to monitor the process of recognition, verification and vesting of forest rights in the UT;
It will meet at least once in three months to monitor the process of recognition, verification and vesting of forest rights, consider and address the field level problems, and furnish a quarterly report to the Central Government on their assessment regarding the status of claims.
It has been empowered take appropriate actions on receipt of a notice against the concerned authorities in terms of Section 8 of the Act.
According to the order, the district level committees would be respectively headed by concerned deputy commissioners.
The district-level committees will ensure that the requisite information under clause (b) of Rule 6 has been provided to Gram Sabha or Forest Rights Committee.
These panels will also examine whether all claims, especially those of primitive tribal groups, pastoralists and nomadic tribes, have been addressed keeping in mind the objectives of the Act.
These panel will also consider and finally approve the claims and record of forest rights prepared by the sub-divisional level committees.
They have also been empowered to hear petitions from persons aggrieved by the orders of the sub-divisional level committees.
The sub-divisional level committees headed by sub-divisional level officer of Revenue department will provide information to each Gram Sabha about their duties and duties of holder of forest rights and others towards protection of wildlife, forest and biodiversity with reference to critical flora and fauna which need to be conserved and protected.
It will also provide forest and revenue maps and electoral rolls to the Gram Sabha or the Forest Rights Committee—(KNO)