Streamlining the Community Forest Resource Claim Filing Process with Accurate Maps on RatiFi
The process of filing for Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights requires clear and accurate forest and village boundary maps. This helps in avoiding rejection from the government during the approval process and helps preventing inter-village conflicts in harvesting and selling of Seasonal Forest Products.
The Jharkhand Space Application Center (JSAC) under the Department of Information Technology, Government of Jharkhand, provided digitized shape files, cadastral maps, and revenue village boundaries for Jharkhand. The Revenue Department develops digital maps, and ISB-BIPP team was able to access updated digital maps and toposheets of Ranchi level, the headquarters of the Jharkhand state Forest Department. Gaining access to the maps from both the JSAC and the Revenue Department saved time and effort in mapping individual village GPS boundaries.
However, ISB-BIPP’s team discovered thirteen villages whose maps were not available. The team needed the maps to start the CFR claim filing process and hired a group of field coordinators to manually map the boundaries using handheld GPS devices. The field coordinators underwent a three-day training conducted by ISB-BIPP Project Associate Mr. Sanjoy Mondal on the usage of the GPS devices for manually marking the coordinates. The team completed the manual mapping, and the maps were ready in ten days.
In parallel, the BIPP-ISB team chose ten villages from the available JSAC and Revenue Department maps for precision validation. The boundary points on the provided maps were verified against ground-level data, and the maps from JSAC and the Revenue Department were combined with the maps drafted by the ISB team to create the final map. The Circle Inspector from the Revenue Department of Bano Block authenticated and approved the final map for official use.
The authenticated maps were integrated into the ISB-BIPP’s RatiFi mobile application, aimed at enhancing the claim filing process for Community Forest Resource rights. The availability of these maps on the RatiFi application, accessible to all users through their mobile phones, will simplify the claim filing process and facilitate wider access to CFR rights.