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CSD hails Odisha Govt’s decision to dispose IFR claims

Bhubaneswar: Campaign For Survival and Dignity (CSD) has hailed the recent decision taken by the (Forest Rights Act) FRA State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC), Odisha to review and dispose around 23,59,27 Individual Forest Rights (IFR) claims rejected and pending at different levels since 2009.

As per the FRA Status of SLMC, by the end of 31st March 2014, 32,88,08 IFR titles have been distributed out of the 564735 IFR claims filed at the Gram Sabha level. Out of the rest 23,59,27 IFR claims 13,49,19 IFR claims have been shown as rejected (74,161 by GS, 59,446 by SDLC and 1,312 by DLC) while 28666 IFR claims (i.e 5204,  20148 and  3314) have been shown pending at the GS, SDLC and DLC level respectively. 

CSD has contended that as per FRA, 2006 the original Gram Sabha resolution duly maintained in a register should be at the Gram Sabha/FRC. However in most of the cases SDLCs used the printed Gram Sabha Resolutions duly prescribed (as specimen copy) by SLMC in which signatures of the FRC/Gram Sabha members were taken and were sent to the SDLC. As a result most of the Gram Sabha does not have their original/copy of the GS resolutions and details of the Individual forest rights claims filed. Even in many Gram Sabhas, list of FRC members are not available. Even in the last four years, the SDLCs and DLCs have totally failed to inform on the Status of the claims to the aggrieved IFR claimants and the concern Gram Sabhas and have denied them from their right to file appeals despite of provisions under Section 6(2) and 6(4) of the Forest Rights Act, and Section 14(1) and Section 15(1) FR Rules, 2008.

Accordingly, CSD has urged upon the SLMC to return back all the original “Gram Sabha Resolutions” along with all the IFR claims to the concern Gram Sabha/FRC so that they can make necessary corrections and can resubmit or can file appeal at the SDLC and DLC level and can take advantage of decision taken to review the rejected and pending IFR claims in the State.   

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