realisation of community rights under fra in madhya pradesh and chhattisgarh
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Realisation of Community Rights under FRA in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Challenges and Ways Forward. Objectives. Ascertain whether the implementation of the Act is according to its spirit (in case of Forest Community Rights).

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realisation of community rights under fra in madhya pradesh and chhattisgarh

Realisation of Community Rights under FRA in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh

Challenges and Ways Forward

  • Ascertain whether the implementation of the Act is according to its spirit (in case of Forest Community Rights).
  • Ascertain the validity of the reasons of rejection of applications of Forest Community Rights.
  • Reasons if some of the eligible (if there) candidates or groups could not claim / get the ownership rights even after making an application.
  • Identify the potential claims which can still be made.
  • Identify other bottlenecks (procedural, structural, capacities) in the implementation of the Act.
  • Provide recommendations on the shortcomings.
  • Document the best practices in granting the Forest Community Rights.
  • 10 Districts ( 6 from MP and 4 from CG)
  • Selected on the basis of
    • ST population
      • High – >40%, Med -20 to 40%, Low - <20%
    • Number of community claims made till November 2009 and
      • High > 150claims, Med -50-150claims, Low-<50 claims
    • The existence of area of National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary
study area
Study Area
  • 2 blocks with highest number of community claim
  • 12 villages from each block (1 where community claim was made and 1 where community claim was not made from each of below categories)
    • High Tribal Population (>60%)
    • Low Tribal Population (<20%)
    • Near Block HQ (Within 10 – 15 Kms)
    • Far from Block HQ (>40 Kms)
    • Near Forest (<10 Kms)
    • Far from forest (>20 Kms)
methods used
Methods Used
  • Semi structured questionnaire
  • Focused Group Discussions
  • Participatory Appraisals
  • Interviews with stakeholders
  • Case Studies
  • MP and CG have been better in implementation of FRA
  • GoI has named MP as the leading state in overall implementation of the Act
  • Initiatives by MP
  • State level software monitoring systems
    • Claims forms are being accepted even without a caste certificate
    • 8 lakh copies of claims forms sent to gram sabhas free of cost
    • Quick verification of claims, comprising of officers from the Forest and Revenue departments
    • Training on the FRA was imparted to master trainers and members of the survey teams through video conferencing
    • PDA for mapping the asset
  • Community Claims Sanctioned (till Dec 2009)
    • Madhya Pradesh : 2556
    • Chhattisgarh : 287
defining community assets
Defining Community Assets
  • As per the definition of the Act
  • Based on the purpose of use
    • Places of worship
    • Khirkai
    • Forest for Nistar
    • Collection of minor forest produce
    • Use of water structures
    • Quarries
    • Funeral/burial grounds
    • Connecting Roads and approach roads
    • Community halls and government infrastructure
assets claimed
Assets Claimed
  • Chhattisgarh,
    • Large proportion for different types of infrastructure (43.6%)
    • 26.4% claims in Chhattisgarh were for nistar by the community
    • Very few cases (7.3%) related to livelihood
  • Madhya Pradesh
    • Appears balanced as far as the types of community claims are concerned.
    • The largest proportions (30.4%) of claims are on places of religious importance.
    • Claims for livelihood resources also have significant proportion (23.6%).
reasons for not claiming community assets
Reasons for not claiming Community Assets
  • Use of the asset was not prohibited ever, therefore no “felt-need” to apply under FRA- Individual claims were more important
  • Extremely low knowledge of the community for claiming community rights
  • Inappropriate information was provided to the community to claim only one or two assets under community rights.
  • The evidence or proof in case of community claim was not clearly defined and explained
  • Lack of clarity on the rightful users (ST alone or others as well)
effectiveness on roles performed by different structures
Effectiveness on roles performed by different structures
  • The implementation was handled by officials alone with practically no role played by the elected representatives. This resulted in very limited claims on community resources.
  • The FRC were formed in accordance with the Act in most villages however the process of forming these committees was not democratic.
  • Poor dissemination of information resulted in very few claims from the community.
  • Lack of availability of the required documents like Wazib-ul-arz, nistar partrak, the map of the village etc. In absence of these documents, the process of verification could not be done properly.
issues at gram sabha level
Issues at Gram Sabha level
  • Gram Sabhas were organised in a campaign mode lasting only a couple of hours
  • Officials were not present in all the gram Sabhas
  • Lack of Availability of Documents
    • Basic documents like revenue map, the forest maps, the voter list etc were not made available
  • Lack of availability of forms was observed in the sampled villages
formation of frcs
Formation of FRCs
  • FRCs were not constituted democratically as
    • Quorum for Gram Sabha could not be attained
  • Panchayat Sachiv and the presiding officer often influenced the formation of the FRC
  • In most of the villages Gram Sabha members were not sure about the members of the FRC
  • FRCs formed hastily. In Chhattisgarh, JFM committees were converted as FRC in some villages
issues with iec
Issues with IEC
  • Material was produced in different languages, but dissemination at the field level was poor
  • 1st gram Sabha was the only source of information dissemination
  • Information gaps observed on
    • Provisions of proof of ownership particularly for non-tribal families
    • Meaning of community rights and entitlements associated with it
    • Functions of village Forest Committee and other committees at block and district level
    • Process of filing complaint in case of rejection of claims
issues at gram sabha level27
Issues at Gram Sabha level
  • Gathering of evidence
    • Lack of clarity of FRC and SDLC on evidences for Community Claims
    • Only government documents were considered, Statements from elderly community members and the Gram Sabha were not considered at all
  • Verification of Claims
    • Due to lack of awareness of the FRC, they did not play any role. The Sachiv led the process in most places
    • The FRCs were not clear on their roles and responsibilities in verification
attendance of presiding officer in 1 st gram sabha
Attendance of Presiding officer in 1st Gram Sabha
  • In more than 21% villages, no presiding officers were present
  • In most places the Panchayat sachiv facilitated the first Gram Sabha
  • In 53% studied villages, the first gram Sabha was presided over by officials from departments other than tribal/ forest/ revenue
  • Officials could not give adequate time in the gram Sabha as the the officials had to attend several GS on the same date
issues with capacity building
Issues with Capacity Building
  • Efforts of training was concentrated on Master Trainers level at State.
  • The quality and duration of the training at district and SDLC level was lesser than required
  • FRCs were not oriented at all in the studied villages
  • Training at district and lower level was focused primarily on individual rights
interdepartmental coordination
Interdepartmental coordination
  • The departments were of the view that FRA is applicable only on Forest Department land hence there was indifference by the other departments.
  • Panchayat Sachiv played a major role but RD and Panchayat department was not engaged hence there was lack of coordination at the field level
  • There was unclear role division among Tribal, Forest, Revenue or Rural development (Panchayat Secretary)
key findings
Key Findings
  • The community claims are largely given as a supply side initiative rather than demand driven.
  • Lack of awareness of the officials at district and below as well as the FRC for preparing community assets claims
  • Significant gap between the claimed assets and the assets that community aspires to claim.
  • The number of claims approved for infrastructure is high in the studied villages as compared to the needs.
key recommendations
Key recommendations
  • Extension for time limit for claiming resources
  • Design and organise large scale awareness drives
  • The key documents like Wazib-Ul-Arz, Nistar Patrak, Revenue Map and Forest maps should be available at the Panchayat/FRA
  • Intensive Capacity building of the stakeholders (particularly FRC and Government officials at district and below)
key recommendations34
Key recommendations
  • Long term planning and resource commitment on the claimed assets
  • The resources of schemes like NREGS/ BRGF and Tribal Sub Plan needs to be converged with the benefits of FRA
  • Develop demonstrable models where better livelihood conditions of the communities results in reduced dependence on forest resources