NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will hold a review meeting of state governments to check the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in the capital on Monday, February 24.
“The states have been called for a review meeting so that we know the progress of the states on the FRA. Before the next Supreme Court hearing comes up, the states should be prepared,” said Deepak Khandekar, secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Last year, the Supreme Court had ordered the eviction of tribals whose FRA claims were rejected. Later, the order was stayed and states were directed to file affidavits on the implementation of FRA. The apex court asked the states if due process was followed before the sattes rejected the claims.
“The meeting held will review the FRA process in entirety. We are reviewing what sort of implementation the states have carried out or the progress made by them since they submitted the affidavits. A range of other issues pertaining to the FRA would be discussed as well,” said a senior official
The Centre is also planning to hold capacity building and awareness-level programmes in states in order to sensitise officials on the importance of effective implementation of FRA. One such workshop will be held in Bhubaneswar in Orissa, added the official.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs had told states that despite the FRA being passed more than a decade ago, the provisions of its implementation remain poor.
“The state-tribal development/welfare departments are duty-bound to take steps towards capacity building and training of the functionaries responsible for implementing the Act at various levels in the state and districts,” the Centre had told states in its letter.