Decision to streamline FRA implementation in Ganjam

Berhampur: The Ganjam district administration has decided to streamline implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 and provide land rights to forest dwellers.

In the first phase, land pattas would be distributed in Jagannath Prasad, Bhanjanagar and Sorada blocks of the district, official sources said today.

This was decided at a recently held meeting chaired by district Collector Krishan Kumar at Bhanjanagar.

"Revenue Inspectors will tour villages to identify those eligible and collcet applications from them. The Forest Rights Committee (FRC), sub-dvisional and district-level committees, will then process the applications for approval," said an official.

The administration has prepared a model application form for the beneficiaries. "We hope to complete the exercise within three months," said sub-collector (Bhanjanagar) S M Biswal. Subsequently, the concept would be implemented in other blocks, he added.

Welcoming the decision, tribal leader Bhala Chandra Sarangi urged the administration to withdraw cases against forest dwellers for encroaching upon forest land.

Lok Sangram Manch (LSM) President Edu Gamango said several applications were pending before the district administration for disposal under FRA.

District welfare officer M K Nayak, however, said there were no pending applications. While 5,047 beneficiaries in the district had received land pattas, 530 more cases were being processed, he added.