Tribals to agitate for Panchayats

Anantapur, March 24: Banjaras have begun asserting their demand to notify all tribal hamlets into gram panchayats. They have decided to launch an agitation to press the government to concede their demand.

Talking to newsmen here on Saturday, Banjara Bheri's State president Tejavat Belya Naik lamented that all the tribal hamlets lacked basic amenities like roads, power supply and drainage. "This is because the tribal hamlets are located on the outskirts of villages. Panchayats spend all funds to develop the village, while the hamlets always remain neglected," he said.

The State government had admitted that around 90 per cent of the tribal hamlets do not have drinking water facility. Barring shedding crocodile tears, the government did nothing to improve the situation, he added. He recalled that Panchayat Raj Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy had assured that he would consider the demand to recognise tandas as panchayats. But no follow-up action was taken, Naik said.

The Banjara leader said though the High Court sought a status report on the tands in December last, the government was yet to respond to the court directive, he said. Belya Naik announced that a 1500-km padayatra would be launched on April 14 to highlight their problems. The padayatra would begin from the Hathiram Mutt at the Tirumala. It would cover 16 districts before concluding at Hyderabad on June 9. A mammoth meeting "Nangara Bheri" would be organised at Hyderabad on the same day, he said.

Banavat Veerendra Naik, general secretary of the organisation, district president Sriramulu Naik and others were also present.

Referred by:Balram Sampla
Published on: March 27, 2001
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