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Updated: April 26, 2013 15:37 IST

State gets the stick for tribal landlessness

STAFF REPORTER
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CAG sees weak political will, highlights failure of scheme

The report of Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the State government for its tardy implementation of the Rs.175 crore Resettlement of Landless Tribals Scheme taken up in 2001.

The Audit Report (General and Social Sector) for the year ended on March 31, 2012 said that "only 39 per cent of target was achieved in distribution of land even after 10 years."

"Delay in purchase of land despite availability of funds. Though the Project was to be completed within five years, only 39 per cent of the familities identified had been given land, even 10 years after starting the project," the report said.

The lack of political will on the part of State government to provide land to landless tribal people were evident from the reply it had given to CAG.

The CAG said the "Government replied (June 2012) that most of the land identified could be distributed only with prior permission of Government of India and that the State Government have approached GOI for clerance of 30,124 acres of forest land for assignment to tribal families."

It is well known that forest land cannot diverted for non forestry pruposes with the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 and other laws in force.

The Government constituted the Tribal Settlment and Development Mission (TRDM) for implemenation of the scheme in November, 2001.

The main objectives of the scheme were to distribute free of cost one to five acres of land to each landless tribal family, and develeopment of infrastructure facilities.

The Principal Secretary, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Development Department was appointed as Mission Chief. At the District level Committees were formed with Collector as Chairman.

The CAG gives the dismal picture of land allotment to the tribals in Palakkad where the tribal people of Attappady alone alienated 10796.16 acres between 1960 to 1980.

Under the scheme only 4.44 acres of land was distributed to 10 families. Thus 1826 families are yet to get land allotted.

"In Palakkad district as against 1,836 beneficiaries identified, land measuring 4.44 acre was distributed to 10 families only. Audit noticed that even the land distributed was not accepted by the beneficiaries as the major porition of the same was rocky and unsuitable for any type of development activities, including cultivation," the CAG said.

"Further, about 63.19 acres of land belonging to Irriation Department was ordered (August 2003) to be transferred to the TRDM for distribution. However, families for taking possession of land were completed only in May 2010. The Project Officer, Integrated Tribal Development Project, Palakkad stated (February 2012) that the land had not been distributed to beneficiaries as the selection of beneficiaries was not completed."

The report further said that in Idukki district, land was allotted only to 949 out of 1,402 families identified. Though land measuring 123 acres was identified, it could not be distributed to the beneficiaries due to encroachment."

In Thiruvanathapuram district not a sigle cent of land was allotted though 16 families were identified. In Pathanamthitta 12.9 acres were distributed to 28 families and 128 more are waiting. In Thrissur only 5.68 acres were allotted to 20 families and 74 families remaining.

In Malappuram 46.38 acres of land was allotted to 61 families and 733 waiting.

The maximum areas of land were distributed in Kannur and Wayanad districts.

In Kannur 3604.37 acres were allotted to 3700 families and 170 more waiting. In Wayanad 2576 acres were allotted to 997 families but 4913 are waiting.

The CAG expressed its doubt about the selection of beneficiaires in a fair and tranparnt manner in accordance with the Government order.

"Records relating to selection of beneficiaries were not available in two of the four district test-checked", the report said.

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