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Forest dwellers set to get land rights

The district administration has initiated steps to confer land rights to people living at four villages on the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary fringes.

By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Kendrapara
  • Published 25.03.18
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The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Telegraph Picture

Kendrapara: The district administration has initiated steps to confer land rights to people living at four villages on the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary fringes.

A public hearing on allocation of title deeds to the forest dwellers under Forest Rights Act, 2006, was held in Rangani gram panchayat for consideration of the claims. "The process to implement the act has begun. If the claims are found genuine, the settlers will be awarded all the benefits as entitled under the act," said an official.

The residents of Rangani gram panchayat had laid claim for land rights under the Forest Rights Act's provisions. A meeting was held to deliberate over the claims of villagers living at Vekta, Harinapokhari, Pattaparia and Rangani. While some of them claimed to be tribal people, others said they merited consideration for the act's benefits entitled to the other traditional forest dwellers, said district welfare officer Kailash Chandra Bhoi.

According to the Forest Rights Act, a tribal who settles in the forest before implementation of the act merits consideration for the act benefits. Besides, other traditional forest dwellers are also eligible for the benefits if they have been living in the forest areas for three generations or 75 years, he said.

The claimants were asked to furnish to recorded proof documents to corroborate their claims. The claims will be put forth before the district-level committee formed under the chairmanship of the collector and the district magistrate. The district-level committee consists of revenue, tehsil and forest officials. It is the competent authorities for the conferment of the act, he said.

"Genuine claimants will get the benefits of government schemes, including those related to land development, land productivity, basic amenities and other livelihood measures," the official said.