This new development will benefit the scheduled tribes residing in Banswara, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh
The provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 will now apply to these areas giving local communities control over minor minerals Credit: Richard Evea / Flickr
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister on Wednesday (April 25) approved the declaration of 227 villages in three districts of Rajasthan as Schedule Areas.
The declaration of Scheduled Areas under Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India was done by rescinding the Constitution Order 114 of February 12, 1981 and promulgating a new Constitution Order.
The Scheduled Areas were first notified in 1950. Subsequently, Constitution Orders specifying the Scheduled Areas were issued for the state of Rajasthan in1981. Due to reorganisation as well as creation of new districts and changes in population of Scheduled Tribes as per 2011 Census, the Government of Rajasthan has requested for extension of Scheduled Areas in the state.
The entire extent of the newly created area comprises three districts—Banswara, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh—9 tehsils, 1 block and 46 gram panchayats covering 227 villages in the districts.
“This is a significant move in terms of control over resources,” says Shomona Khanna, a tribal rights lawyer and former legal consultant of Ministry of Tribal Affairs. “Now, it will entail the implementation of a number of constitutional and statuary protections to the local communities. Representation of Schedule Tribes in the panchayat will also happen. But one of the most important things is that now the provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 will apply to these areas giving local communities control over minor minerals, the minor forest produce as well as the development activates in the area,” she adds.
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