Hailing the PESA Act, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao today said the law helps in implementation of various provisions for self rule for village communities in the scheduled areas.
"Implementation of PESA ensures that panchayats and gram sabhas would be benefited by way of ownership of resources and rights in the scheduled areas in true sense and help in realisation of self-reliance in the villages," he said while inaugurating a workshop on PESA and Forest Rights Act-2006 organised jointly by the district administration and tribal Welfare department.
"PESA Act helps in implementation of various provisions for self rule for village communities in scheduled areas. The Act provides solution to many issues such as tribal land alienation, deprivation of rights on minor forest produce, lack of control of the residents over natural resources, lack of control over local plans and so forth," he said.
PESA was enacted to cover the "Scheduled areas", which are not covered in the 73rd amendment or Panchayati Raj Act of the Indian Constitution. It was enacted on 24 December 1996 to enable Gram Sabhas to self govern their natural resources.
The Governor stressed that Forest Rights Act 2006 also has a potential to change the way forests have been traditionally viewed and managed by the forest dwellers.
"I firmly believe that those who have been traditionally protecting forests must have stake in livelihood from the forests as well as their sustenance," he stressed.
Rao directed the officials to work as facilitators, recognise the ownership of the communities over resources, train them in learning skills for livelihood and help them become independent.
Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Hansraj Ahir, Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and other leaders were present on the occasion.