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

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Poor Implementation of FRA

This is with reference to the article by M Gopinath Reddy et al (“Issues Related to Implementation of the Forest Rights Act in Andhra Pradesh”, 30 April 2011) on implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in Andhra Pradesh (ap). FRA implementation in AP has pretty much ignored the concerns of traditional forest dwellers, i e, non-tribal communities where pastoralists have traditionally had community grazing rights in the forests.

In Kurabalakota mandal of Chittoor district where we have been working with such communities; 13 hamlets have traditionally been dependent for their livelihood on the forests. Grazing of cattle, sheep and goat, collection and sale of minor forest produce were two of the main sources of livelihood. No efforts were made by the local administration to provide any information in these parts regarding the FRA. Therefore training to set up Forest Rights Committees etc, was out of the question. Only in 2009 when we started working with the pastoralists did the communities become aware of their rights under the FRA. The gram sabha submitted the documentation under Form B to the revenue department in June-July 2010. We are still awaiting a response from the subdivisional level committee (SDLC). In fact an SDLC meeting is yet to be convened.

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