JAMMU: The Tribal Affairs Department today organized one day seminar cum awareness camp at Chowadi to educate the Tribal Community regarding implementation of Forest Rights Act.
Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Rehana Batool was the chief guest on the occasion.
District Development Council members, Block Development Council Chairman, Sarpanchs and Panchs besides other prominent community representatives of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Poonch, Kishtwar and Reasi districts participated in the event.
Secretary highlighted various initiatives taken up by the government for effective implementation of Forest Rights Act in Jammu and Kashmir. She informed the gathering that State, District, Sub Divisional and Panchayat level officers and officials and other stakeholders including FRA Committees had already been trained for implementation of FRA.
She further apprised that Forest Rights Act Committee shall receive the claims from 15th of January, 2021 and the department is in process of translating FRA in local languages so that the community can easily understand the Act, rules and guidelines.
Director Tribal Affairs, Mohammad Saleem Malik, emphasized upon the community representatives to educate the common masses about implementation of the Act. He said that community members who reside in the forest areas since 13th of December, 2005 shall submit their bonafied claims of individual rights and community rights and forest resource right to FRA committee within three months of issuance of the notification.
The FRA Committee shall after due intimation to the concerned claimant and the Forest Department visit the site and verify the physical nature and claimant extent of the claim. It shall record its finding on the claim and present the same before Gram Sabha for its consideration. The Gram Sabha after approval of the claim submit the same to the Sub-Divisional Committee which shall further verify the claim as per record available with them and submit it to District level Committee which shall settle the claim accordingly.
Various speakers highlighted various aspects of implementation of FRA in the UT and expressed gratitude to UT administration on behalf of tribal community particularly to Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, Advisor Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Khan, Chief Secretary B. V. R Subrahmanyam, Commissioner Secretaries of Forest and Revenue besides Secretary Tribal Affairs Department for implementing FRA in J&K.
Javed Rahi, prominent educationist, writer and scholar highlighted the importance and detailed introduction about the implementation of Forest Rights Act, Rules and guidelines. He also replied various queries raised by the participants in the seminar.
Other speakers who spoke on the occasion were Syed Ali Choudhary, Advocate Karam Din Chopra, Talib Famda, Yasir Choudhary, Koshal Choudhary and Ali Mohammad Chechi.