BENGALURU: Diog B Siddi, a leader of Siddi community in Haliyal taluk in Uttara Kanara district, is running from pillar to post to get ‘title deeds’ (an evidence of legal ownership of land) issued to members of his community.
Diog recollects staging innumerable protests and submitting memorandums to Revenue Minister R V Deshpande (who represents Haliyal constituency), social welfare minister, Chief Minister among others, seeking effective implementation of Scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) Act 2016, but in vain.
“As many as 975 out of total 1,100 applications submitted for title deeds by Siddis in Haliyal taluk were rejected by the committee headed by the assistant commissioner. In Yellapur taluk, a few tribals had received ownership rights over land up to four guntas,’’ he told The New Indian Express. Karnataka Adiwasi Rakshana Parishath (KARP) president M Krishnaiah said that under Forest Rights Act (FRA), a beneficiary is entitled to two acres of land besides 10 acres of common land for grazing, burial, etc under Community Forest rights.
“Committees led by assistant commissioner and deputy commissioner are, however, ignorant about the FRA and rejecting applications on flimsy grounds,’’ he alleged. The unsystematic rejection of applications under FRA common across the state has forced Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) to include Karnataka among seven low performing states.
ST welfare department director K Revanappa told TNIE that there was no shortage of funds to implement the FRA.
When contacted, Forest minister R Shankar assured to direct officials on approving applications of tribals under the FRA within the purview of law.