Drop encroachment cases against tribals:Govt

Bhubaneswar: The State government on Friday asked forest and revenue officials to drop encroachment cases against tribals to whom land titles have been given under the Forest Rights Act.  The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary B K Patnaik, official sources said.

The meeting decided that there was no point in continuing encroachment cases against persons who had been alloted forest land under the Act. "The cases must be dropped after due enquiry," Patnaik said. District Level Committees on implementation of FRA Act have been directed to ensure proper entries like landmark and sketch map on certificates of titles distributed under the Act, Patnaik said.

The Odisha government has taken several steps to settle claims of tribals living in non-forest revenue land simultaneously as per the Odisha Prevention of Land Encroachment Rules or Odisha Government Land Settlement Act. "Land title certificates are being prepared in four sets to be kept with beneficiaries, tehsildars, divisional forest officers, district welfare officers and the Integrated Tribal Development Agency," Revenue minister S N Patro said.