The Forest and Green Governance (FGG), a non-governmental organization, has urged the Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekar Rao, to halt the distribution of Podu land pattas. Podu land is a type of shifting cultivation practiced by tribal communities. The FGG argues that the distribution of pattas will lead to the destruction of forests and biodiversity, and will also displace tribal communities from their traditional lands.
According to the FGG, the distribution of Podu land pattas is a violation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA). These laws recognize the rights of tribal communities over their traditional lands and require their consent for any development activities in their areas. The FGG alleges that the distribution of pattas is being done without the consent of tribal communities and without following due process.
The FGG has also raised concerns about the impact of Podu cultivation on forests and biodiversity. Podu cultivation involves clearing patches of forest for cultivation, and then abandoning them after a few years when the soil fertility declines. This practice can lead to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and degradation of forests. The FGG argues that instead of promoting Podu cultivation, the government should support sustainable agriculture practices that are compatible with forest conservation and biodiversity protection.