Odisha Forest Department Denies Transit Permit to Pipadi Farmers To Sell Bamboo

Reported by

Sanghamitra Dubey

Published on

December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017

Updated on

December 8, 2017

Location of Conflict

Pipadi

Nuapada and Dheknapada

Kalahandi

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Land Use

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

216

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Odisha

Sector

Land Use

The Pipadi Village Assembly in Kalahandi district has been demanding Transit Permit (TP) from the state government to sell bamboo since 2017. Similarly, people from Nuapada and Dheknapada villages in Kalahandi are unable to sell Kendu leaf because the forest department has denied them TP to transport goods outside the forest area. The forest dwellers complain that the forest department is intervening in the use and sale of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) which falls under the authority of the gram sabha. Section 3(1)(c) of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, grants indigenous forest dwellers the right to own, collect, use and dispose of MFP such as bamboo. A TP allows the farmers to transport and sell the MFP commercially. Since 2017, the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Kalahandi has been rejecting the Village Assembly's request for the permit saying that "the village's Community Forest Resource title deed placed a limit on the collection and sale of MFP up to head load or cart/cycle load and that there was no provision in it to allow the commercial sale and transport of such forest produce". Legal experts say that the DFO's contention does not hold good as Section 4(5) of the FRA stipulates that forestdwelling communities can manage forest resources by themselves. In fact, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, states that violation of the FRA by a government official will be treated as an atrocity under the Act and can be booked for the same. Local activist Chitta Ranjan Pani added a complaint under the Act against the forest officials. The problem has only worsened over the years. In 2020, a local newspaper reported that the Kendu leaves have started rotting and people who depend on it are left without an income during the lockdown period because the state government has still not issued them a TP. The forest dwellers have warned of calling an agitation if the state government fails to address the problem. In January 2021, Chief Minister Navin Pattanaik announced a relief package of INR 92.37 crore for Tendu leaf pickers and other workers engaged in the trade. It includes a INR 59.78 crore bonus for the pluckers and workers along with a double exgratia compensation of INR 2 lakh.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Rights over forest produce

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?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(c) [Right of forest dwellers to own, collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce within or outside village boundaries]; Section 3(1)(i) [Right of forest dwellers to manage any forest resource]; Section 6(1) [ The gram sabha is the authority to initiate the process for determining the nature and extent of individual or community forest rights]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3 (xxiv) [Denial of access to customary right to passage to place of public resort of a member of a Scheduled Tribe or Schedule Caste is a punishable offence]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007
Rule 2(d) [Definition of "disposal of minor forest produce" includes transportation in forest area for use and sale of produce]; Rule 8(b) [Function of district-level committee to examine addressal of claims]; Rule 11(2)(i) [Forest Rights Committee to assist the gram sabha in receiving, acknowledging and retaining claims]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(a) [All laws made must be consistent with the customary law, social and religious practices and traditional management practices of community resources]
Orissa Timber and Other Forest Produce Transit Rules, 1980
Rule 4 [All forest produce in transit by land, rail or water shall be covered by a permit called the “Transit Permit" issued by the divisional forest officer or the Assistant Conservator of Forests so authorised and other authorities in certain cases as stipulated]; Rule 5 [This rule enlists cases where permit is not required and includes, for all minor forest produce other than the ones specified, bamboo or timber covered by depot permit, when rights are recognised under any other law applicable unless otherwise specified, etc.]; Rule 7 [Procedure and requirements for application of transit permit and orders thereon]
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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

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

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

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

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:

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