Demands met, Maha kisan jam over
Mumbai: Amid a rising wave of sympathy for protesting farmers, increased media glare and pressure exerted by rival parties, the government on Monday evening promised to address the agitators’ issues in a time-bound manner. Soon after, the farmers called off their demonstration.
The promises include the transfer of forest land being tilled by tribal cultivators for decades, under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, within six months, relaxation of loan waiver conditions, and more pension for poor and elderly farmers.
After walking for over 180 km, thousands of farmers, who had set out from Nashik district five days ago, had reached Azad Maidan in Mumbai, in the early hours. A delegation of farmers met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Mantralaya in the afternoon. Later, top ministers also addressed those gathered at Azad Maidan.
The state government may have averted a crisis, but experts said legal and administrative wrangles will likely delay the process and there are miles to go before the demands fructify.
The transfer of land title was necessitated to secure the rights of the people working on community lands and to help the farmers secure loans to opt for basic irrigation facilities.
The major opposition comes from the department of forests for such a transfer of land, especially from 16 tribal districts. As on January, the gram sabhas had received a total of 3,64,313 personal claims for transfer of forest land of which 1,54,614 claims were sanctioned.
Land admeasuring 3.45 lakh acre has been approved across the state. Another three to four lakh claims are pending for decision.
Fadnavis said ‘’We have promised that we will give to tribals whatever they are eligible for.’’ Tribal Affairs Minister Vishnu Savra said that farmers had complained that they should be given the rights of the land they cultivate. “The CM has agreed to the demand and Chief Secretary will follow-up on this and implementation will start in six months.” But former tribal affair minister Madhukar Pichad, who had also worked as the forest minister, told DNA, ‘’The forest department has a rigid view on the transfer of land to tribals.’’
Full report on dnaindia.com
Mumbai residents distribute water to farmers