ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Encroachments on Forest Lands-The Experience in Maharashtra

The Experience in Maharashtra S D Kulkarni Some provisions of the Maharashtra government's Order of December 1978 regularising encroach- ments by adivasis on government fallow lands, grazing lands and forest lands are to be welcomed, How- ever, it contains a provision that encroachments found not eligible for regularisation should be vacated im- mediately, Since there are several deficiencies in the government Order and the lists of eligible encroachments have still not been finally prepared, any attempts to vocate existing encroachments will be unjust OVER 40 lakh adivasis in Maharashtra constitute above six per cent of the state's total population. Most of them live in the hilly parts of the state. Adivasis are found in 21 of the 26 districts of the state. However, about 60 per cent of the adivasis live in the three districts of Thane, Nasik and Dhule. Most of the adivasis live in rural areas. About 96 per cent of them live in rural areas as against 69 per cent of the total population. Most of the adivasis depend on agriculture for their livelihood. According to the 1971 Census, 92 per cent males and 95 per cent females, of the total working- age adivasi males and females, were working as cultivators, agricultural labourers, and workers in mining, quarry, forestry and dairy farming.

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