BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): TThough the Madhya Pradesh government has announced to implement PESA Act in the state, itís no more than an eyewash as the rules under the Act have not been framed, says President of Ekta Parishad Ransingh Parmar.
He was speaking on the inaugural day of two-day national conference on Forest Rights Act at Gandhi Bhawan on Tuesday.
On December 4, the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced that PESA Act will be implemented.
Parmar told the Free Press that according to the Act, land acquisition would not be done without the permission of Panchayat. Government should first make rules and circulate them. After that, they will have to inform Panchayats about the rules and then enforce the Act. The process is long. There is need to make administration sensitive regarding this, he said, adding that about 1.5 core tribals live in MP and one third of their population migrates in search of work.
Parmar said Forest Rights Act has failed to achieve its objective. The Act came into force on January 1, 2008, and even after 15 years of its implementation, tribals are still deprived of their rights. Out of 6.50 lakh people who applied, only 2.50 lakhs got the right. ìAbout 3.50 lakh are still waiting. A powerful movement is needed to ensure that tribals get their rights,î Parmar said.
The organisation demanded that a task force should be constituted in each district to implement Forest Rights Recognition Act. The investigation of rejected claims should be done by an independent committee.
Parishad vice president Shraddha Behan said womenís names are also being added on the land rights documents by the government, which is a good initiative.
Organisation general secretary Ramesh Sharma said many villages were losing their existence. They are turning into cities. "Tree plantation is the need of the hour to save villages and enrich environment,î he said
State Youth Congress president Vikrant Bhuria, member of Task Force KK Singh and Rohini Chaturvedi, National General Secretary of Ekta Parishad, Anees and many other speakers addressed the event.
As many as 145 delegates from seven states including MP, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan took part in the conference. They shared their work done in their respective areas. Preeti Tiwari and Dongar Sharma conducted the event. Ekta Parishad founder Rajagopal will attend the conference on December 8.
Need to create unity like farmers
Social activist Rakesh Dewan said elections are an occasion in a democracy, which one should use properly to force the government to accept his or her demands. 'The farmers stood firm on their demands despite repression by the government and finally forced the government to repeal three farm laws. We need such unity,' he said.