Bijapur forest dwellers enjoy better life quality

The lives of forest dwellers of Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district are getting better due to the individual, community and forest resource rights granted on forest land under the Forest Rights Act.

Not only have the forest dwellers been able to do harmless farming on forest land through the individual land rights, but they are also taking advantage of housing, animal husbandry and agriculture related schemes, an official communication said on Sunday.

With the community rights gained through gram sabhas, they are now able to use the minor products of forests, pastures, reservoirs, biodiversity and their traditional knowledge to raise their community’s standard of living.

Along with this, the Chhattisgarh government has implemented the provision of — the so far neglected but most important — right to forest resource under the Forest Rights Act in the district on priority.

This has given them the right to complete conservation, management and regeneration of water-forest-land.

Under the Forest Rights Act, on the instructions of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, forest rights-letters have been distributed to the forest dwellers occupying forest land in Chhattisgarh since December 13, 2005.

The forest dwellers holding forest rights are able to use the land under their rights to fulfill their agricultural, farm, housing or living needs.

A total of 9,617 individual forest rights papers have been distributed in the district. Of these, 2,179 were provided since December 2018.

The forest dwellers have got possession of 13,062.20 hectares of forest land through individual forest rights papers.

For the first time, the government has given full rights to the original residents for complete management, conservation and revival of their water, forest and land.