Dehradun, October 9
Four task forces and two pilot teams will be constituted in the state Forest Department to provide rights to the members of the Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers residing in the forests under the Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state-level monitoring committee of the Act presided over by Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain to discuss the implementation of the said Act in the state.
It was also decided to set time frame to redress their claims, make sub-division and district-level monitoring committees more active. The state-level monitoring committee will regularly monitor the works of these committees.
Secretary, Social Welfare, MH Khan, said four mobile teams would be formed to ensure effective implementation of the Act. Each mobile team would comprise of three observers and a coordinator. Dehradun, Haridwar and Tehri will come under the Dehradun mobile team headquarters. Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pauri and Rudraprayag areas will fall under the Chamoli mobile team headquarters. Udham Singh Nagar, Nainital and Almora will come under the Udham Singh Nagar headquarter, while Pithoragarh, Champawat and Bageshwar will be under the Pithoragarh headquarter.
Khan further said the responsibility of the mobile teams would be to identify the place with greater possibility of organising awareness camps. The mobile teams would prepare a one-year action plan that would help redress the claims under the set time frame. The teams would also be helpful for village, subdivision and district-level committees in making forest dwellers aware of conservation of wildlife and forest biodiversity.
He said the Act also provided ownership right of forest land to STs who had been living there before December 13, 2005. Similarly, the other forest dwellers would also be given ownership right, provided they had been living there since three generations (75 years). This would also facilitate them with personal and community right for which they had to apply in the Village-Level Forest Right Committee.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, Forest, S Ramaswami, Secretary, Revenue, DS Gabryal, Additional Secretary, Finance, MC Joshi, Additional Secretary Sushant Patnaik and other senior officials. 

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