Skip to main content

Civil society "disturbed" over Congress support to BJP on CAMPA Bill, approaches Rahul Gandhi

By Our Representative
Disturbed by the news on “compromise” of the Congress with the ruling BJP at the Centre on the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Bill, 2016, rights-based organisations working on the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 across the country have prepared a petition for Rahul Gandhi's Office to review the party's decision.
A Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha, statement has quoted activists to say that “they are using social media, i.e Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, emails etc. to reach out to the Congress vice president and request him to halt the Bill in the Rajya Sabha at any cost."
Significantly, activists had mobilised and convinced the Rahul Gandhi Office, Congress and other opposition parties, including the Left, during the last Parliamentary session, resulting pushing several amendments to the CAMPA Bill by Jairam Ramesh of the Congress. As a result, the Bill could not be passed.
In their, activists have raised three fundamental questions:
  • What compelled Congress to compromise and withdraw the amendments which they pushed through Jairam Ramesh in the last Parliamentary session?
  • How can the Congress compromise with Modi government on CAMPA Bill when it claims to have launched a mega campaign across states against it alleging dilution of FRA, 2006 and undermining Gram Sabha?
  • How will Congress ensure that what it had brought in as amendments in the CAMPA Bill in Rajya Sabha will get placed in the rules to be framed when the amendments would not be there in the Act itself?
The Bill is was passe d in the Lok Sabha in the last Parliamentary session and is being place before Rajya Sabha. Most probably, the Bill will be placed in the Rajya Sabha on Monday and may be passed by the House.
“In this crucial moment, the rights based organisations have no other way out but to approach the Congress, which along, taking the support from Left parties, can halt the CAMPA Bill in the Rajya Sabha”, says CSD.
The rights based organisations are of the view that if the CAMPA Bill gets passed in its present form, it would be a “disaster for the tribals and forest dwellers and would be in direct contradiction with the “historic” FRA, 2006 which they have owned after long struggle since India’s independence.
They assert that in the CAMPA Bill passed by the Lok Sabha, there is no mention of any role of Gram Sabha, which has been recognised as the “authority” over its people and natural resources falling within the community Forest Resource (CFR) area.
“Rather the Bill in its present form over empowers the forest bureaucracy to use the CAMPA fund without the approval of the Gram Sabha”, insists CSD.
“We are not against the CAMPA Bill, we also want regeneration and restoration of lost forest and wildlife, but our main concern is that let not the forest burcecaracy, the servants bypass the real authority and owners, the Gram Sabhas while taking up plantation over Community Forest area”, it adds.
Under the FRA, 2006, it suggests, many tribals occupying over forest land in different villages across the country have got titles but at the same time, in most of the cases occupied forest lands have not been demarcated properly, and many tribals and other traditional forest dwellers occupying forest land are yet to get titles.
“In this context, who will decide where to do plantation? The forest department which has been has been blamed for evicting the tribal and forest dwellers from their forest occupied land? Who will decide what species will be plant?”, wonders CSD.

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).