Minister for Social Welfare and Prisons M. Narayanaswamy has expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of work on houses being built by Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Ltd. in the tribal settlements of B.R. Hills.

Speaking at a function organised at Yarakanagadde podu (tribal settlement) at B.R. Hills on Tuesday, Mr. Narayanaswamy called upon officials to ensure that government benefits reached people.

He urged Soliga tribal people to give priority to education and come forward to join the mainstream.

Mr. Narayanaswamy visited Bangle podu, Hosa podu, Purani podu and Yarakanagadde podu to reviewed the progress there. He was of the opinion that the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary should be declared a ‘community-based tiger reserve area'. This would prevent the eviction of Soliga tribal people from the area.

Members of the district Soliga Development Organisation submitted a memorandum to the Minister seeking fulfilment of various demands, including expediting work on building houses, funds to repair 4,000 houses constructed in the tribal settlements under various schemes and power supply under the Nirantara Jyothi scheme. They also demanded that teachers with D.Ed. be appointed in the Girijana Ashrama schools so that their children received quality education. Receiving the memorandum, Mr. Narayanaswamy said that the Social Welfare Department had enough funds. He said the Government had earmarked Rs. 8,000 crore in the budget for the welfare of SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes. He assured the Soliga tribal people that he would review the progress of various departments and instructed the officials to implement the schemes effectively.

The Minister also visited Gowdalli, Yaragamballi and Santhemaralli and listened to the residents' grievances. He also visited Jennur-Hosur where he inspected the new Moraji residential school building.

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