Odisha to provide land to all landless tribals by 2016-17: CM

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Friday announced to provide land to all landless adivasis in tribal sub-plan (TSP) blocks by 2016-17 even as members of the Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) expressed concern over non-amendment of Orissa Reservation of Vacancies (ORV) Act.

The announcement was made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here while presiding over the TAC meeting attended by MLAs, MPs and social activists belonging to the community. “My government has decided to provide land to all landless tribals in TSP blocks over the next 5 years covering all 19,016 villages,” Patnaik said.

Stating that no tribal family in TSP area would remain landless, the chief minister said 33,090 homesteads less ST families have been allotted with 1465.18 acre of homestead land so far. Of the state’s total 314 blocks, 118 blocks have been identified as tribal sub-plan blocks in the state.

“The government has already started working on the project. One land coordinator each for three villages in the TSP areas will be appointed through NGOs for expediting the land distribution process,” said ST & SC development secretary Santosh Sarangi.

While the state government read out a list of its activities for uplift of tribal families at the TAC meeting, Congress MLA from Talasara Prafulla Majhi demanded immediate amendment of the ORV Act in order to protect interest of adivasis youths.

“The council pressed to expedite the process of amendment of ORV Act in view of the recent judgment of the High Court and apex court and inclusion of the provision of reservation for contractual employees in the amendment,” Sarangi said adding that the members also pressed for filling up of all backlog and shortfall vacancies expeditiously.

The members too raised demand for provision of 22.5 per cent reservation for STs in the educational institutions similar to the provisions available to entry into public employment. “The matter will be examined for a decision,” Sarangi said.

This apart, the TAC also recommended for inclusion of Kaur/Kaanr/Koanr/Kuanr/Kuanwar/Konwar and Jhadua Bindhani communities in the ST list of Odisha.

“The TAC also recommended for inclusion of Paudi/Pauri Bhuyan and Chukita Bhunjia (both particularly vulnerable tribal groups) in the ST list,” he said adding that though the claim for inclusion of Putiya community in the ST list was discussed, it was decided that the matter would be re-examined.

The council meeting resolved to examine the proposal for upgrading secondary schools to higher secondary schools for having Plus-II science courses in those TSP blocks which do not have Plus-II science college facilities either in private or government sectors.