Tamil Nadu

Kaani tribals of Western Ghats may get pattas soon

Kaani tribals living in five settlements in the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli district may get patta for the lands under their possession and cultivation as a recent ruling by the Supreme Court has paved way for the much-awaited gift.

Though the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, which is otherwise known as Forest Rights Act (FRA), has been implemented in almost all States, it is not in vogue in Tamil Nadu owing to a legal impediment.

Interim order

As the Madras High Court had passed an interim order saying that no patta or title under the FRA should be issued without the permission of the High Court on a writ petition filed in 2008, the State government could not proceed with the FRA.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, besides going for an appeal against this verdict, also successfully persuaded the State government to file an appeal against the interim order of the Madras High Court. Subsequently, a three-member Bench of the Supreme Court set aside the Madras High Court’s order in February.

“Though 21,781 claims have been filed in Tamil Nadu by the tribals and 3,723 titles are ready for distribution, the State government was not able to distribute the titles due to the stay order of the Madras High Court. As the Supreme Court has vacated this order now, the forest dwellings of Scheduled Tribes and the other traditional forest dwellers across Tamil Nadu will get forest rights that include patta to the tribals,” says P. Ganesamurthy Kaani of Mayilar Kaani near Papanasam dam.

The recent order of the Supreme Court has enlivened the hopes of the people living in five Kaani hamlets – Chinna Mayilar Kaani, Periya Mayilar Kaani, Agasthiyar Kaani, Servalar Kaani and Injikuzhi Kaani, all located inside the Kalakkad- Mundanhturai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) – that they would soon get patta for the lands on which their huts stand and the lands being used by them for cultivation too.


“We expect that this process would gain momentum after the end of the poll process and our people will get the much-awaited patta in near future,” Mr. Ganesamurthy says.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 3:52:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kaani-tribals-of-western-ghats-may-get-pattas-soon/article8449270.ece

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