Bhopal, Feb 18: The time-bound implementation of Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition to Forest Rights) Act 2006 and Rule 2007 is underway with full intensity in Madhya Pradesh. The state government has sanctioned Rs eight crore 60 lakh so that the Act can be implemented within the deadline without any hindrance. Commissioner Tribal Development has been made the budget controller of this amount sanctioned from emergency fund.

If the pristine Polo forest of Sabarkantha had not been violated, and two tribals killed in police firing on Wednesday, probably the state authorities would not have understood the gravity of the new Tribal Rights Act.

will the new forest rights rules empower forest communities? There are mixed responses to the recently released draft of the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007. Announced on June 19, the rules are meant to operationalise the parent act. The Union ministry of tribal affairs has sought comments.