Kerala Tribal Areas to Be Converted to Revenue Villages

Published on: 20 Nov, 2013
Published under: Cochin District News, Ernakulam District News

20 November 2013

Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs have directed Chief Secretary to convert the tribal areas forest villages to revenue villages under the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.

In a circular issued on November 8, Ministry Joint Secretary Sadhana Rout reminded the State government that the conversion constituted a key portion of the forest rights Act. Kerala was yet to identify traditional forest villages or old habitations of tribespeople to be converted as revenue villages.

The conversion would enable the administration to adopt development measures such as setting up of schools, dispensaries, and other such facilities in these villages, the circular said. As per the new directive, the Forest Rights Act will supersede the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980. The conversion will not require the consent of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

“The State will be able to take comprehensive steps improve infrastructure in terms of healthcare, education, drinking water and power supply, sanitation, and livelihood support,” Mr. Bijoy said. “Secondly, in revenue villages, the villagers are conferred with heritable but inalienable rights over the land, which have manifold benefits. The villagers can use this land as a guarantee for seeking bank loans to engage in any vocation,” he said.

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