Tribal development must for curbing Naxal growth, says Jairam Ramesh

For the residents of this tiny non-descript village in Odisha’s Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region, it was a rare celebratory occasion on Sunday when they got back the rights that had been snatched away by the British rulers nearly a century ago. The official transit passbook for cultivation and harvest of bamboo was handed over to the Jamguda Gram Sabha by Orissa forest officials. Union Rural Development and Tribal Affairs Ministers Jairam Ramesh and Kishore Chandra Deo and Odisha Revenue minister Surjya Narayan Patra attended a Tribal Rights festival organised by the Gram Sabha to mark the event.

As part of the effort to grant tribal communities rights to minor forest produce, the Maharashtra Government has granted permission to 81 gram sabhas in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of the state

A Bill further to amend the Indian Forest Act, 1927.This Act may be called the Forest (Amendment) Act, 2013.

Villagers from Mali Parbat are willing to compensate state for its loss in royalty from bauxite mines

Villagers protesting against Hindalco’s plan to mine bauxite at Mali Parbat in the Koraput district in Odisha have come up with a unique proposal that offers to compensate the state for its loss in revenue from royalty. Forty one villages from the district, two thirds of whose largely tribal population live below poverty line, have proposed to soon pass panchayat resolutions promising to pay . 35 crore, or what they estimate will be the royalty Hindalco is likely to pay the state over 15 years of the project’s life. Hindalco estimates that its industrial activity in the backward region will earn the state three to four times as much.

BHUBANESWAR: The state government has decided to set up the second Bamboo Bazaar in Bhubaneswar to promote bamboo products that will uplift the socio-economic condition of bamboo-growers in the state. At present, one Bamboo Bazaar is functioning near DAV school in Unit-VIII.

The forest department would spend around Rs 27 lakh for the proposed bazaar under the Centre-sponsored National Bamboo Mission. Recently, it asked the textile and handloom department to explore the feasibility of opening the market in the Urban Haat.

The MoEF committee chaired by A K Bansal on regulatory regime regarding felling and transit regulations for tree species grown on non forests/ private lands calls for simple uniform mechanisms to regulate the transit rules of forest produce within the state.

SHILLONG: The Megh-alaya People’s Environment Rights Forum (MPERF) has urged Governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary to keep on hold his assent to the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2012, which was passed by the State Assembly recently.

In a representation submitted to the Governor on Wednesday, the MPERF requested that the Amendment Bill be sent back to the state government for a ‘detailed deliberation’. The representation also stressed on seeking opinion from technical, legal experts and conservationists besides the general public before deciding either in favour or against the amendment.

SHILLONG: The Megh-alaya Forest Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2012 has come under scanner for its definition of ‘forest’. The Bill was passed on the last day of the Winter Session of the State Assembly on Friday.

The environmentalists have pointed out that the Bill does not have any retrospective effect and is aimed at giving free hand to destroy the forest cover to divert it to non-forest activities.

Even a small initiative can make a big difference and inspire people; a small group of 15 people from an undescriptive village, Takhla Khurd, in Barghat Janpad of Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh h

This bill approved by Meghalaya cabinet recently has come under scanner for its definition of 'forest'. It defines "forest" as a continuous tract of minimum four hectares of land having more than 250 naturally growing trees and has come under scanner.