Skip to main content

Govt of India "undermining" Forest Rights Act through CAMPA Bill, "handing over" gram sabha rights to babus

By Our Representative
The Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), which claims to have played a vital role in the enactment of historic Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 in the country, has urged major opposition political parties in Rajya Sabha to halt passing of Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Bill, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha.
CSD’s statement has come following reports that, after the meeting of Arun Jaitley with the senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Digvijay Singh, the Congress and the ruling BJP parties have reached an understanding on the Bill to be passed in the Rajya Sabha in the current monsoon session, which began July 18, 2016.
CSD has alleged that the CAMPA Bill in its present form violates the letter and spirit of the “historic” FRA, which enacted to redress all injustice done to the triabls and forest dwellers since British period. 
"It not only provides for recognizing individual and community rights over forest and forest land but also authorizes the local community (Gram Sabha) to take final decision on all activities to be done within their community forest resource (CFR) area so also in case of diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes", the statement said.
CAMPA Bill, said CSD, is based on the Kanchan Chopra Committee Report instituted by the Supreme Court of India which fixes compensation for forests diverted for non-forestry use based on the net present value (NPV) of diverted forests and costs of compensatory afforestation.
The NPV and compensatory afforestation are in the range of Rs 5 lakhs to 11 lakh/ per hectares (ha), depending on the type of forests and condition of forests. Accordingly, the UPA Government first brought the Bill in 2013. The Bill was withdrawn after opposition by civil society for over-empowering the forest bureaucracy and neglecting the FRA.
After the formation of NDA government at the Centre, the CSD said, a revised bill was introduced in Parliament in 2015 and was passed by the Lok Sabha. It alleged, the new bill makes cosmetic changes in the original bill, but retains most of the retrogressive features.
CSD said, the most critical problem with the bill is, it effectively allows the forest bureaucracy at the state and national level to decide how to use the vast monies that accumulated in the CAMPA fund.
CSD added, it had appraised the major opposition political parties including Rahul Gandhi’s office and Left parties on the discrepancies in the BJP’s CAMPA Bill duly passed in the Lok Sabha and placed in the Rajya Sabha in last Parliament Session and had mobilized and convinced them to bring amendment in the CAMPA Bill.
As a result, it said, Indian National Congress Party through Jairam Ramesh moved an amendment requiring Gram Sabha’s approval for plantation in CFR area and Gram Sabha certification before taking up any planation over any forest land ascertaining settlement of individual forest rights (IFR) of the tribals and forest dwellers over that forest land. As a result the CAMPA Bill could not pass in the last Parliament session.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.