India: The South Goa district administration will take the aid of GPS-based software to scrutinize the claims received by the forest rights committees ( FRC) from tribals under the forest rights Act.
Over 1700 claims have been received by the FRCs in the four tribal-dominated talukas – Sanguem, Quepem, Canacona and Dharbondara – in South Goa, so far. Quepem tops the list with 710 claims, followed by Canacona with 590 claims. FRCs in Sanguem and Dharbondara have received 278 and 158 claims respectively.
The FRCs constituted in every village as required under the forest rights Act will first scrutinize the claims -over ownership of land, community rights, right of way, right over forest produce, etc – before obtaining the nod from the gram sabha. They will then be submitted to the sub-divisional committee headed by the sub-divisional officer. Following approval by the district level and state level committees, the claims will be settled as provided in the Act.
Agarwal informed that seven village panchayats from the four tribal-dominated talukas of the district have failed to constitute the FRCs so far. Efforts are one to enable these panchayats – Xeldem, Quitol, Nakeri, Shirvoi and Morpirla in Quepem taluka, and Agonda and Poingunim in Canacona taluka – to form the FRCs at the earliest.