Maharashtra Government Leases Forestland Without Consent of Community in Wadsa, Gadchiroli

Reported by

Land Conflict Watch

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

March 27, 2018

March 27, 2018

Updated on

March 27, 2018

Location of Conflict

Dongargaon Gat

Desaiganj, Kurkheda, Armori and Vairagad

Gadchiroli

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Plantations

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

385

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Maharashtra

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In 2016, the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM)Brahmapuri Division started felling trees for plantation in the Wadsa range (the area between Desaiganj, Kurkheda, Armori and Vairagad), which falls under the Fifth Schedule. The forest in this range has a tree canopy density of more than 40 per cent and, hence, cannot be felled under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. Farmers in the area had filed claims for community forest rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in 2011, and some of them have also been given land titles. Under the FRA, the consent of the Gram Sabha (Village Assembly) is required before diverting forestland. The Maharashtra Forest Department violated the law and leased 3,000ha of forestland to the FDCM for regeneration, which then began felling the forest trees. The affected communities passed Village Assembly resolutions opposing the transfer and also filed complaints to the district collector as well the forest department. In April 2016, a public interest litigation was filed in the Nagpur High Court. The petition was filed by the secondincommand of the Dongargaon Gat Gram Panchayat, comprising three villages, although the felling of trees will affect 18 villages. The tribals and other forest dwellers are dependent on the forest resources for their food and livelihood as well as for medicines and materials to build their houses. Despite a stay order by the court, the FDCM continued felling trees.  The case was transferred to the National Green TribunalPune bench in 2017 which directed to maintain status quo. The case was further transferred to the Principal Bench of NGT on February 24, 2018. The NGT ruled on July 24, 2018, that the plan for the Bramhapuri Forest Division was approved back in 2015 and that the Tribunal cannot interfere and dismissed the petition saying it doesnot hold any merit. The villagers in November 2018 approached the Supreme Court challenging the FDCMs decision to fell 385 hectares (ha) of forest. Environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta is representing the case in the Supreme Court.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 3: Extending part IX of the Constitution to scheduled areas
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 4(1): Vesting of forest rights with traditional forest dwellers; Section 4(2)(e): Modification of forest rights under the Act needs to be done with free informed consent of the Gram Sabhas in the areas concerned to the proposed resettlement and to the package
Indian Forest Act, 1927
Section 61G: Any order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge hearing an appeal under Section 61D of the Forest Act shall be final
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court, National Green Tribunal, Supreme Court

Case Number

Cri. W.P. No.738/2017

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), Maharashtra Forest Department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Join Now