Provisions Relating to the Community Forest

25. Handover of The Community Forest:

(1) The District Forest Officer may handover any part of a National Forest to a Users’ Group in the form of a Community Forest As Prescribed entitling to develop, conserve, use and manage the Forest and sell and distribute the Forest Products independently by fixing their prices according to Work Plan. While so handing over a Community Forest, the District Forest Officer shall issue a certificate of alienation of the
Community Forest.
(2) The District Forest Officer may constitute a Users’ Group as Prescribed by mobilizing users and provide technical and other assistance required to prepare the Work Plan for the purpose of Sub-section (1).

26. Amendment In The Work Plan:

(1) As per requirement the Users’ Group may make timely amendments in the Work Plan relating to the management of the Community Forest, and shall inform to the District Forest Officer regarding such amendments.
(2) If any amendment made in the Work Plan by the Users’ Group pursuant to Sub-section (1), is considered likely to affect adversely in the environment in a significant manner , the District Forest Officer may direct the Users’ Group not to implement such amendment within Thirty days from the date when he/she receives such information. It shall be the duty of the Users’ Group to comply with such directives.

27. Community Forest May Be Taken Back:

(1) In case the Users’ Group cannot operate its functions in accordance with the work plan in the Community Forest handed over pursuant to Section 25 or operates any functions which may cause significant adverse effect in the environment or does not comply with the terms and conditions to be complied pursuant to this Act or the Rules framed thereunder, the District Forest Officer, may decide to cancel the registration of such Users’ Group and take back such Community Forest As Prescribed. Provided that, such Users’ Group shall be given reasonable time to submit its clarification before making decision to cancel the registration of the User’s
Group and take back the Community Forest. Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1), if the officials of the Users Group operate their function against the statute and work-plan in the name of community interest, those officials shall be punished pursuant to this Act if so claimed by the consumer .
(2) The Users’ Group which is not satisfied with the decision made by the District Forest Officer pursuant to Sub-section (1), may file a complaint to the Regional Forest Director as Prescribed. The decision made by the Regional Forest Director in respect to such complaint shall be final  (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section (1) and (2), nothing shall be deemed contrary to punish as per this Act to those officials of the Users Group who operate their function against the Act and the Rules framed thereunder in the name of community interest.

28. Community Forest May be Re-handed Over: The District Forest Officer shall have to re-hand over the Community Forest taken back pursuant to Sub- Section (1) of Section 27 to the same Users’ Group , in case the decision related thereof is cancelled pursuant to Sub-section (2) of the same Section. In case such decision is
approved, the District Forest Officer may reconstitute the Users’ Group and handover such Community Forest by completing the procedures As Prescribed in Section 25.

29. Punishment for Contravening the Work Plan: In case any User Operates any function to be contravened to the Work Plan in the Community Forest, the concerned Users’ Group may impose an appropriate punishment and may also realize the amount involved therein, if there has been any loss or damage.

30. Priority to be Given to the Community Forest: Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, any part of the National Forest suitable to handover to the Users’ Group as Community Forest shall not be handed over as Leasehold Forest.

30A. Expenditure for the development of community Forest: The Users group shall expend, at least twenty five percent amount of the income derived from work plan, for the development protection and management of the community forest and remaining amount for the other development work