Govt to distribute pattas to 50,000 tribals in Lalgarh

By Kanchan Chakraborty

Kolkata, Dec 27
: With tribals in the Lalgarh area protesting against the government’s failure to implement the provisions of the Forest Right Act, 2006, the West Midnapore administration has planned to distribute pattas of vested agriculture and homestead land to the tribals under the Act.

According to District Magistrate N S Nigam, the government has planned to distribute land to 50,000 landless tribals in the region.

He said nearly 48,000 tribals from several villages in and around Lalgarh have already applied for vested land.

“The land and land reforms department has completed the necessary verification of 10,000 applications. Of which about 6,000 tribals were found eligible for vested land from the government,” said Nigam.

He said Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned for a water supply project in the tribal area, which was already being implemented, and Rs 5 crore for an irrigation project.

“For setting up of tribal hostels in the district another Rs 1 crore has been released,” he added.

The district magistrate has also asked the Lodha Sabar Kalyan Samiti, a social organisation of tribals, to talk to district officials on development projects for tribals villages.

“There are 650 backward villages in the district and most of these are located in the tribal areas. We have sought suggestions from tribal leaders and their organisations for carrying out development works in the area,” said the district magistrate. He added, “The leaders have also decided to put forth their demands.”

Meanwhile, Chattardhar Mahato, a local tribal leader, has announced to go on a day-long hunger-strike in front of the district magistrate’s office on December 30. He has alleged that the government has failed to implement the Forest Act.

“The Centre had passed the Act in 2006 for the benefit of tribals. But the district administration has not prepared any action plan according to the provisions of the Act,” Mahato said, adding that other tribal organisations will also participate in the agitation.