Is bamboo a tree, and not grass?
Even after six years of the promulgation of the Forest Rights Act which listed bamboo as a minor forest produce and gave tribals the right over it, the tree, or err, grass, is still stuck in the official rigmarole and repartee.
In 2011, the union environment and forests ministry had classified bamboo as ‘grass’ to remove the legal hurdle and confusion. So far, only one tribal village in the entire country, Mendha-Lekha in Maharashtra, has got the right over bamboo. Encouraged by it, thousands of tribal communities are now demanding their rights.
The fear of losing a money-spinning forest produce like bamboo, the ministry is now trying to turn around and classify bamboo again as a ‘tree’ to deny the tribals their right.
Do you think the ministry is right in declaring bamboo a tree?
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