The eight villages protecting Binjgiri have only a rough idea about their respective portions in the Binjgiri hills. There are no clear demarcation lines. They have framed a set of rules, defining the rights and duties of villagers, which include:
1. The forest is to be protected by voluntary patrolling on rotational basis following the system of thengapalli (stick rotation). In thengapalli, the household(s) assigned the patrolling duties for the day is given the intimation of the same by the ‘thenga’ (wooden stick) placed at its door on the prior evening. Subsequently, the thenga is passed from household to household. The number of pallis (persons on duty) per day is determined by the village council, depending upon the forest area and the external pressure on the protected patch.
2. It is mandatory that every household participates in thengapalli. In case of inability to go on duty, mutual exchanges of duty or adjustments are allowed. Refraining from the duty without informing or without adequate reason invites compensatory duty on two days instead of one.
3. No one is allowed to cut any tree from the forest without permission. In case of an emergency, the village council can allow such permissions.
4. Dry twigs, fruits, seeds and flowers can be cut. Some shrubs specified by the village council can be cut for fuelwood.
5. The area is closed for grazing until natural regeneration or plantation gets established. In some villages, rotational grazing is practiced.
6. Nobody is allowed to enter the forest patch with an axe, except with prior permission of the village council.
7. The villagers can collect the stones for construction from the forest area for bonafide use only.
8. In case of threat to forest from outsiders, every villager is to help the palli on duty.
9. The person who violates the rules is fined. The fine depends upon the village council. Normally the offender is asked to apologize publicly.
During the initial years of protection, a few villages decided to disallow goat rearing. All the goats in these villages were sold off. Village councils allowed goats to be kept only after some regeneration took place. Thengapalli is generally discontinued where regeneration has been established, and the system of community vigilance is followed in these areas. Even the villages that still practise thengapalli discontinue during the agricultural season.
Kesharpur has another significant rule for the trees on the riverbank. It has been decided that the farmers who own adjacent farmlands will look after these trees. When a tree matures, the council takes the decision to fell the tree. The wood is then equally shared between the caretaker and the village. The caretaker also has full rights over the fruits and flowers from these trees.
Conflicts within or between villages are mediated by BOJBP. This body tries to resolve these differences through emotional appeals, tolerance and understanding. It discourages monetary fines or coercion, and promotes local arbitration at community level instead of external intervention to resolve conflicts.