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

Forest Rights Act (FRA)Subscribe to Forest Rights Act (FRA)

Are You Talking about ‘Jungle Patta’?

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 attempts to empower forest-dwellers for their own governance. This article examines the validity of conservationists’ apprehension of “land loot” after 10 years of implementation of the act. It shows, with empirical evidence from West Bengal, that actual land recognition is far less compared to what has been stated in the act. In effect, recording of land rights became a contraction of legal access to existing forest resources, which might lead to conflicts in future. The state used this act for political benefits, reducing it to a mere “beneficiary scheme” of panchayat-level governance, with the whole implementation becoming a patta -giving exercise to forest-dwellers.

Turning the Tide in Forest Rights?

Evaluating the arguments and the rationale behind an order of the Gauhati High Court, this article points out that much of it goes against the spirit of the Forest Rights Act, which sees a role for forest-dwelling communities in wildlife conservation.
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