Declared rehabilitated 41 years ago, Orissa tribals wait for land


JHARSUGUDA, JULY 16: Nearly 41 years after they were declared rehabilitated by the government, the 40 tribal families of Gandghora Adivasi Colony in Brajrajnagar are yet to get pattas for the land promised by the Orissa government. Since 1958-59, they have been moving from pillar to post, seeking justice from the state Harijan and Tribal Welfare Department (HTWD), but to no avail.

As per records, the Department constructed 40 houses for the rehabilitation of the tribal families belonging to the Muna, Bhuyan, Ganda, Sahara and Khadiya communities. Each family was provided five acres of agricultural land, two bullocks and agricultural implements, as shown by the records.

According to sources in the Social Welfare Department of Brajrajnagar district, the tribal welfare department had submitted all the documents, including map of the colony and land schedule, to the tehsildar, Jharsuguda, for settlement of land in favour of the rehabilitated tribals on August 27, 1971. They say the matter has been kept pending by the tehsil office, Jharsuguda. The Jharsuguda tehsildhar, on his part, maintains that the land records of the rehabilitated tribals cannot be traced.

Representatives of the tribals say they met and appealed to various wings of the government over the past 30 years, but no justice was done. Some of them, Kartik Marai, Somanath Munda and Iswar Choudhury, told The Indian Express that they had also been denied the basic amenities by the government as their colony was yet to be declared a revenue village.

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