STATE TIMES NEWS
DODA: Deputy Commissioner Doda, Dr Sagar D Doifode today chaired a one day workshop on the Forest Rights Act and constitution of Forest Rights Committees at Gram Panchayat level for effective implementation of its provisions. The workshop was attended by DDC members, BDC Chairpersons, ADC Doda, ADC Bhaderwah, Divisional Forest Officer, ACR, SDMs, Revenue officers, BDOs and Range Officers.
At the outset, the DFO Doda gave a powerpoint presentation, highlighting the salient features of the Act and rules including various guidelines for its implementation, including the role, responsibility and composition of various committees. In his address, the DC asked the DDC members, BDCs and concerned officers to have a better understanding of the provisions so that the objective of the Act is realized in letter and spirit. The DC informed that FRA recognizes rights of forest dwellers (ST/OTFD) on ancestral lands and their habitat, which were not adequately recognized. It also includes responsibility and authority for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance. The DC directed the Rural Development Department to conduct the Gram Sabhas across the district for formulation of Forest Rights Committee (FRC). He also urged the DDC members and BDC’S to participate in the Gram sabha in their respective areas. Calling it a benevolent piece of legislation, the DDC members said that the earlier legislation with regard to forest rights were limited, and the new act ensures safeguard of community forest rights, by taking the grass root level into consideration. Meanwhile, the DDC members and BDCs raised some queries regarding the implementation of the Act, which were satisfactorily answered by the Deputy Commissioner and other concerned Officers.