Gunupur: Lanjia Soura, a primitive tribe, has demanded development of irrigation infrastructure and drinking water facility in Gunupur area of Rayagada district.
Most of these tribal people have been left out of the food safety net. They have submitted a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through Gunupur sub-collector Sonal Jena.
Reports said, scores of Lanjia Saura people live in Shagada panchayat. They have been leading a miserable life in the absence of basic facilities like drinking water and irrigation.
Though their livelihood mainly hinges on collection and sale of minor forest produce, many of them have shifted to farming.
“But irrigation is essential to boost the farming prospects. As proper irrigation facility is missing, we have to face droughts and are unable to do farming in right manner,” they pointed out in the memorandum.
They said there is a need for new dykes across Rugudi creek to irrigate farmlands and ward off drought. About 40 years ago, three dykes had been built across the creek.
Then, they used to come handy for farming. The tribals raised various crops. But dykes have been in bad shape for lack of renovation. These dykes should be renovated to bolster farming.
The tribals alleged that they have no pattas of their land they have been residing in and their farmland. They said that forest dwellers have every right to get land patta of their land.
They also lamented that the government has made provision of ration cards to ensure subsidized food stuff for the poor, but many of them are still deprived of the benefits of food security.
Safe drinking water has not been provided to them in some villages too.
The Shagada Panchayat Unnayan Parishad, a local outfit fighting for the cause of tribals, observed that the government is urged to pay heed to the plight of the primitive tribe and sort out their basic issues.
It is said that Lanjia Saura Development Agency (LSDA) is exclusively working for welfare and development of these tribals. Lakhs of rupees are being spent, but basic problems of the tribe have not been resolved till date.