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Forceful takeover of forest land cultivated by tribespeople in Khammam, India

In the garb of an afforestation scheme, Telangana forest department violates land rights of tribes people


Hundreds of tribespeople in the recent past in the Khammam district of Telangana state, have taken to the street. They demand that they be allowed to continue Podu or shifting cultivation on their village forest land, which in many cases, has been taken over by the Telangana forest department to plant trees under the state-wide plantation scheme called Haritha Haram or Green Necklace. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Forceful takeover of forest land cultivated by tribespeople in Khammam, India
State or province:Telangana
Location of conflict:Khammam
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific commodities:Land
Biological resources
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The target under 'Haritha Haram' programme is to plant 230 crore saplings in the notified forest area in Telangana. The state government has roped in 25 state government departments, 25 central government departments and an unknown number of private players for implementation of Haritha Haram. As of November 2017, around 3.6 crore saplings were planted in Khammam district.

Type of populationRural
Affected Population:600,000 (This is an estimated tribal population in Khammam)
Start of the conflict:01/06/2015
Relevant government actors:The government of Telangana, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Union Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Agriculture and Social Development Society(ASDS), this is an NGO
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Environment justice has not been served here because the rights of tribespeople are being violated.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Promise and Performance of Forest Rights Recognition Act, 2006: The Tenth Anniversary Report.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Police forcefully planting trees
[click to view]

Haritha Haram Leaves Tribals Landless
[click to view]

Tribals Deplore Denial of Rights
[click to view]

Forest Staff, farmers are at odds over podu
[click to view]

Tribal People seek patta for 'podu' land.
[click to view]

Telangana forest department says Podu cultivation leads to forest destruction
[click to view]

Communist party of India (Marxist) raising the issue of forest department taking over Podu land
[click to view]

Other documents

crops destroyed by the Forest department officials A tribal woman in tears after her crops were destroyed by the Forest department officials in Yellandu in Kothagudem. (Right) Damaged field
[click to view]

Forest Minister Jogu Ramanna inspecting Nursery at Tekulaplli KHAMMAM,TELANGANA,30/12/2014 : Forest Minister Jogu Ramanna inspecting Nursery at Tekulaplli in Khammam on Tuesday. PHOTO: G.N. RAO | Photo Credit: G_N_RAO

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Land Conflict Watch, [email protected], [email protected]
Last update15/01/2018
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