20,000 tribals to get ownership of forest land in Orissa

BHUBANESWAR: The government of Orissa has decided to distribute ownership of forestland to 20,000 tribals, who have been residing in 8 southern district of Orissa even before 2005. However the land transfers will be made only after orders from the High Court, says Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Satyabrat Sahu.
Sahu adds that a central law was enacted in 2006, after which the state government began its survey regarding tribals living in the forestland ans the ownership of ‘pattas’ was recorded. But due to an objection filed by some forest officials, the Orissa High Court had put a stay order on the land distribution.
As a result an ‘action plan’ will be formulated by June 27 to find an amicable solution to the ongoing land encroachments and a meeting between the revenue minister Suryanarayan Patro and Ganjam and Gajapati district officials will be held on Monday to discuss the problem.
As per the action plan, ‘camp courts’ would be established to dispose off pending land related cases and similarly, in the cases where land has been purchased from the tribals without the permission of the government after 1956 will be terminated.
Sahu further said that discussions with the tribal leaders have already begun at Narayanpatna and about 33 tribals got back their lands by June 15.
Earlier Chief minister Naveen Patnaik after reviewing the situation arising from the ongoing violence by Chasimulia Adivasi Sangh in Narayanpatna had asked the revenue department on Saturday to initiate steps to detect unathorised occupation of tribal lands by non-tribals.