The Hindu, 24 Jan 2015, Kozhikode: Proper implementation of the Recognition of Forest Rights Act and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act is vital to preventing the corporatisation of land resources, environmental activist Medha Patkar has said.
Speaking to The Hindu here on Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting to form a vigilance committee to ensure that the State government stuck to its promises concerning the Adivasis in the State, she said saving Adivasi land meant saving the Western Ghats. She said the Adivasi movements in Kerala had made a dent in the system that was against them.
Ms. Patkar, who played a major role in the success of the Nilpu Samaram in Thiruvananthapuram recently, appreciated the State government as well as the Forest and Social Justice Departments for their support to the Adivasis’ cause. She insisted that the government keep its promise and make sure that the Adivasis actually got the 9,600 acres granted to them.
On their part, the Adivasis should take up the regeneration of forestland. There was no point in leaving it to the government, she added.
Lashing out at the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, she said, “They are giving nod for anything in the name of development. They are making it easy for business and not common people. Acts are being changed for it. The economy is being opened up for corporates. Our natural resources are being looted,” she alleged.
The activist also demanded that the Madhav Gadgil report for the protection of Western Ghats be implemented, as it was very scientific and well-researched.