Kodiyeri to submit application to State government

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in the Assembly on Thursday that the government was willing to withdraw the cases against tribal people, who had encroached upon government land in Wayanad, if it received an application.

The Chief Minister was intervening in a debate on the demands for grants for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other Backward Classes during which the deputy leader of CPI(M) Kodiyeri Balakrishnan demanded release of about 250 tribal people arrested for squatting. On the basis of the suggestion of Chief Minister, Mr. Balakrishnan agreed to submit an application.

(According to a Kalpetta report, the drive to evict the tribal people who have encroached on vested forestland as a part of the land agitation in Wayanad entered the third day on Thursday.)

Responding to a demand made by A.K. Balan (CPI-M) that the squatters should be allowed to remain on the 27 locations they had encroached upon, Mr. Chandy said the land could not be allocated to the squatters alone. Government land could be assigned only after determination of eligibility of all applicants as per established norms.

Awareness

Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes P.K. Jayalakshmi said that tribal people with sickle cell anaemia would be given a monthly pension of Rs.1,000. Persons with masters degree in social work would be deputed to create awareness among tribal people about malnutrition and dangers of alcohol consumption. Ambulances with modern facilities would be stationed in Palakkad, Kannur, Malappuram, Kasaragod, and Wayanad for taking tribal people to hospitals.

Financial aid

She said that training would be imparted to 500 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes persons in driving autorickshaws. They would also be provided finance to purchase autorickshaws. Ana mount of Rs.1 crore had been earmarked for providing laptop to tribal girl students.

Minister for Urban Affairs and Welfare of Minorities Manjalamkuzhi Ali told the House that the proposed development corporation for minorities would start functioning soon.

A multi-sectoral development plan would be implemented in 50 blocks with higher population of minorities.

The Minister said that his department would appoint 1,000 promoters for Central and State schemes for minorities. A housing scheme would be introduced for widows and landless. Self-help societies would also be formed for minorities, the Minister added.

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