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 The Bill was withdrawn after opposition by civil society for over-empowering the forest bureaucracy and neglecting the FRA.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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

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.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”