Ruling Congress party in Himachal on Saturday urged the state government to start the process of implementation of Forest Rights Act in Himachal Pradesh as it would benefit thousands of residents, including tribals, in the state.
The Act was passed in 2006 and its rules were framed in 2008, but it has so far not been implemented in Himachal Pradesh much due to misinterpretation at different levels in the government. Recently, the environment activists had also got together in Shimla to form a Himachal Van Adhikar Manch for positive advocacy on the issue and move the government implement the Act.
It had participation from Mahila Congress Chief, Sushila Negi as well. Sukhu took up the cause forward at his meeting with the District Congress Committee members in Reckong Peo in tribal district Kinnaur as a part of his statewide campaign, ‘Modi ke Bol, Jumlon Ke Dhol program.
Addressing party workers, Sukhu said that the welfare of people in tribal areas is the top priority of the government and various steps have been taken to ensure implementation of various policies and schemes for them.
“The residents of tribal areas have the right to hold and live on the forestland under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood, right to ownership and access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce, including all non-timber forest produce of the plant origin under the Forest Rights Act, “he said.
Sukhu said the issue would be taken up with the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for speedy implementation of the Act. The state Congress President said that he would also take-up the issue of allotment of nautor land to people residing in tribal areas. “The Congress government has prepared a nautor policy to allot nautor land to tribals of three districts.
He criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government for failing to fulfil promises made during Lok Sabha elections and said that the people of the country are now aware that these promises were made to gain power at Centre. “The massive crowds in Congress President, Sonia Gandhi’s Varanasi rally is proof of dissent of general public against the non-fulfillment of poll promises by the Modi government. This would also lead to Congress party gain support of people of the country and secure victory in upcoming elections,” he said.
Sukhu praised the achievements of successive Congress led governments for making HP a model state in the field of development and said that the present Congress government had fulfilled almost all promises made in the party’s election manifesto.
“The state government has launched schemes for the welfare of each section of society. Development of the state is top priority of the government,” he said. He urged the party workers to spread awareness about the development activities carried out by the government in their respective areas to fulfil Mission Repeat 2017 in the upcoming assembly elections.
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