A central act seeking to do away with injustice to tribals and other forest dwellers was extended to Mizoram on Thursday, giving the people customary rights like cultivation and grazing.
The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, will become applicable from December 31, 2009, with the state Assembly adopting an official resolution in this regard.
While moving the resolution, Social Welfare Minister P C Lalthanliana said the Act would benefit the tribal people and forest dwellers as a whole and also help in protection of environment.
The step was necessitated as per provisions under Article 371G of the Constitution which stipulates that no act of Parliament on ownership and transfer of land would be applicable to Mizoram unless the state legislature decided to do so by adopting a resolution.
The tribals and other forest dwellers in the state will now have access to minor forest produce and can use or dispose it. They will not face the threat of eviction or removal from forest land under their occupation and will be entitled to benefits of various government schemes.
The Act provides for recognition of forest rights of other traditional forest dwellers provided they have for at least three generations prior to 13.12.2005 primarily resided in and have depended on the forest or forest land for bonafide livelihood needs.
It also provides for conferring rights in national parks and sanctuaries.