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

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FCR 2022: An Attempt to Subvert the Power of Gram Sabhas

A centralised and single-window clearance process would facilitate the diversion of forests for non-forest purposes.

Geetanjoy Sahu writes:

On 28 June 2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change notified the Forest (Conservation) Rules (FCR), 2022, which is intended to streamline and expedite Indias existing forest clearance process. However, the FCR has received fierce opposition from forest rights groups and activists across the country. The reservation to the FCR has also come from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)an autonomous constitutional bodyto advance and protect tribal rights. In his letter to the environment ministry, the chairperson of the NCST stated that the FCR has done away with the requirement of seeking consent altogether and has left the process of recognition of rights to be carried out after Stage I clearance or even Stage II clearance. Before we explain how FCR will undermine the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (also known as the FRA), it is essential to understand the history behind incorporating the provision of free and prior consent of gram sabhas in the forest clearance process. 

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Published On : 15th Feb, 2024

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