NEW DELHI: Unhappy over slow implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), the Union Government has written to nine states, majority of them non-BJP ruled, to ensure recognition of forest rights in a mission mode by setting up a special cell to closely monitor its progress.
The defaulter states are Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Tribal Affairs Secretary Arun Jha, in a letter to nine states, said the country has made a good overall progress in the FRA implementation in the last seven years.
Still, a lot remains to be done in some states.
The FRA was brought in by the UPA Government in 2006 to ensure that forest dwellers got rights over the forest land they have been living on for many years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also conducted a review meeting in April and has desired that the Forest Rights Act implementation be taken up on campaign mode.
“You, are therefore, requested to take up FRA implementation in a mission mode by setting up a special cell to closely monitor the implementation of FRA in your state.
“Special emphasis should be given to extensive capacity building programmes across the state to field-level officials and panchayat functionaries to take up implementation of FRA in a time-bound manner,” said the letter sent to states on June 10.
Timelines were also set for various processes to be completed under the Forest Rights Act settlements by the states, thus enabling its completion by year-end.