The three days online training programme for District and Sub-Divisional level Officers on implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA)-2006 conducted by Forest department concluded here smoothly.These training programme was inaugurated by Commissioner/ Secretary Forest, Environment & Ecology Department, Sarita Chauhan in presence of Administrative Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department Rehana Batul and PCCF (HoFF) Dr. Mohit Gera and senior officers of Forest Department.Speaking on the occasion, Chauhan emphasized on smooth conduct of the processes at all levels by the Deputy Commissioners.Dr. Gera gave a brief introduction on trainings and awareness to be created at different levels of Committees.As per the programme, the training of District Level Committee viz. Deputy Commissioners, Divisional Forest Officers and District Panchayat Officers was conducted on 29 December 2020 and the training for Sub Divisional level Officers viz. SDMs, Range Officers and Block Development Officers was conducted on 30 and 31 December, 2020.To impart traing to the concerned officers resource persons of national repute including Ms. Jaya, IAS, Joint Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Dr. A.K. Jha, Former Commissioner, Tribal Research and Training Institute, Maharashtra and C.R. Bijoy, Independent Researcher with vast experience in the implementation of FRA were roped in to apprise on procedures and processes involved in implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006 in the UT of J&K.
The training focused on duties of district level, sub-division level and village level committees as per the Act and rules made thereunder. The implementation of the Act involves recognition and vesting of the forest rights in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional Forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.The Act provides a framework for recording rights so vested and the nature of evidence required for such recognition and vesting in respect of forest land. The framework for recording the rights involves the Gram Sabha, the Sub-Divisional Level Committee and the District Level Committee. The nature of evidence required are recorded in detail in the Rules and also involves ground verification by the Forest Rights Committee comprising of 10-15 members to be elected amongst its members by the Gram Sabha.Meanwhile, the district level training was attended by 75 officers from 62 different locations across the UT of Jammu & Kashmir. The Sub-Divisional level training for Jammu region was attended by 145 officers from more than 100 locations and similar participation was recorded for today’s training conducted for Kashmir region.It was given out that these orientation prohrammes shall be followed by awareness cum training of the members of Forest Rights Committees as well as Sarpanches and Panchayat Secretaries for a thorough understanding of their role in the implementation of the Act.