RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh High Court stayed all proceedings on distribution of land titles for two months after reports that encroachers were taking over forest land in contravention of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act.
Admitting a PIL in this connection, a division bench took notice of lapses and inadequacies, besides the widespread menace of encroachment in forest areas by villagers with an intent to establish their rights and claim land title. Petitioner Nitin Singhvi, an environmental activist, drew the court’s notice to the callousness and lethargic approach of the state government.
“Earlier the apex court in 2012 pointed out the need to protect the presence the Asiatic Wild Buffaloes by cancelling the ‘pattas’. Why is the state government then remaining a silent spectator despite violations and illegal cutting of trees in the tiger reserve?” the petitioner contended.