Withdraw new forest rules: Congress

Party seeks intervention of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Published - July 13, 2022 09:13 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Picture used for representational purposes only. File

Picture used for representational purposes only. File | Photo Credit: S. Harpal Singh

Alleging that the new forest conservation rules “violate” the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, the Congress on Wednesday wrote to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) to urge the Centre to withdraw them in public interest.

In a letter to NCST chairperson Harsh Chouhan, All India Congress Committee national coordinator for SC, ST, OBC and Minority departments, K. Raju, said the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) notified the new Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022, on June 29, without holding any public consultation with stakeholders.

The party alleged that the new forest conservation rules would lead to disempowerment, dispossession, and displacement of Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other traditional forest dwellers and fuel conflict in tribal areas.

The new forest conservation rules “undermine and violate” the Forest Rights Act, 2006, by diluting the legal requirement of seeking the consent of gram sabhas before diverting forest land, Mr. Raju said.

“The NCST is urged to take note of the violation of FRA and constitutional and statutory rights of STs due to the notification of FC Rules 2022 and issue directions to the Central government and the MoEFCC to withdraw the rules in public interest,” he said in his letter.

Former Environment Minister and Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh slammed the rules as “anti-Adivasi”.

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