THIS is in reference to a writeup titled “Public Hearings on Forest Rights Act Implementation” by Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat (Kashmir Observer 9th April). Public hearings are part of many Govt sponsored schemes. In MG-NGREGA also there is an inbuilt mechanism of social audit which can be compared with public hearing. But how many social audits have been held in villages to see the implementation of MG-NGREGA in J&K ? Rolling out Forest Rights Act is a welcome step but its benefits should only go to those gujjars and forest dwellers who live in the forest areas for the last many decades and are not into Govt jobs. I have observed that many Gujjars are well settled in Jammu and Srinagar and now they may claim to get rights under FRA which should not happen. These influential people will try to grab land in their ancestral villages which should not be allowed at all. The rights under FRA should be given to poor and economically weaker sections of society only. Media has to play an important role to expose any such wrongdoings with regard to FRA implementation.? I appreciate Kashmir Observer for highlighting? these public interest issues which otherwise are not highlighted by mainstream media.
Sajad Hussain Mir?
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