The government of Chhattisgarh has allowed its tribal population to manage forest produce at a community level under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. With this, Chhattisgarh emerged as one of the few states to recognize individual and community forest rights.
According to the state government, over 4,41,000 individuals and more than 46,000 community forest rights have been distributed to the Scheduled Tribes community and other traditional forest dwellers. "In this manner, 51,06,000 acres of individual and community forest rights have been distributed to local communities in the state. 1 hectare of forest land has been recognized for forest rights holders on an average," the government said in a release.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel virtually distributed around 1,300 community forest resource conservation rights of more than 5 lakh hectares among the Gram Sabhas.
"The beneficiaries are being provided with various facilities like irrigation, manure-seeds, agricultural inputs by the convergence and integration of government-run schemes on their recognized forest lands," the state government said.
The government has also taken measures for land leveling and fencing, benefitting at least 1,49,762 people. Meanwhile, irrigation facility has been provided for more than 11,000 hectares of land of 41,000 beneficiaries.
Under the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, the Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, get the right of disposal, ownership of minor forest produce, right to use fish and water bodies products, grazing, especially the habitat of vulnerable tribal groups, and pre-agricultural communities.