Narayan Patro says there is a need to carry out reforms to do justice

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro had to deal with innumerable questions pertaining to land rights of the marginalised communities in the State here on Tuesday.

The questions were posed by several men and women from the backward regions of the State who attended a meeting organised on the occasion of the release of a report on a study on mining and land rights of the Dalits and marginalised communities. The meeting was organised by the Development Initiative, Bhubaneswar.

Mr. Patro had a tough time in answering the queries that ranged from multiple displacements to land rights for the thousands of landless families in different corners of the State.

While assuring that he would try his best to resolve the land issues that would be brought to his notice, Mr. Patro said the need of the hour was to carry out reforms and bring a change in the system and mindset of those manning the administration to do justice to the landless and displaced people. The Minister lamented that despite the State government making several new laws relating to issuance of record of rights in favour of landless families and rehabilitation of displaced families, a lot was still left to be done to streamline the system to ensure that the benefits reached the marginalised communities.

Stating that land had to be acquired in order to ensure industrial development in the State, Mr. Patro, however, observed that many Central laws were still posing hurdles in the mineral rich regions of the State.

The plight of thousands of families who had been displaced by various projects in the past was also highlighted by the participants who came from different regions of the State. The need for reclaiming of the abandoned mines from where iron ore, coal and other minerals had already been extracted by various government undertakings and private companies was also stressed by the participants so that the people who had lost their land and had been affected by mining could be benefited in the future.

The Minister assured the participants that the government was trying its best to give land to the landless under the Vasundhara scheme, and where no government land was available money was being paid to the families to purchase private land.