NEW DELHI: The ongoing data collation by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on the number of people who may face eviction from their lands shows the figure would be around a lakh or less, said a senior ministry official.
The earlier Supreme Court interim order, which was later stayed, had directed 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh forest dwellers whose forest rights claims were rejected by the authorities.
“The current data collection process from the different states show that the final numbers of tribals and other forest dwellers would be less than a lakh and not 11.8 lakh as the earlier data showed. This comes after states presented the data where people who may face eviction and the figures are in hundreds in each state. Several states have corrected the data and presented to us,” said a senior official, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
The Centre had recently conducted a meeting of all states as a part of the final consultation process before they file the affidavit in the Supreme Court in July.
“The number of rejected claims does not translate into the number of evictions as there were cases of duplication and several members of a family filing claims for the same patta which increase the volume of the claims,” said the official. All the states except Sikkim and J&K participated in a recent meeting held in the capital where the states presented the final data collected.