Khaira: Tribal families living on the foothills of Suasari Hills in the Khaira tehsil of Balasore district are leading a miserable life without getting the benefits of welfare, housing and social security schemes.
The main problem is that they have not been provided documents regarding their rights on forest land under the Forest Dwellers Act.
Locals said that as per guidelines people having no land in their name are not entitled to housing units under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
The tribals have been pleading with the district administration for a long time for documents recording their rights on the land on which they have been living on since generations, but nothing has been done.
Resentment is brewing among people over the issue in Gagua, Guapala, Bhudeishula, Kadaligadia, Kutirapal and Gabhar villages.
With this issue remaining unresolved locals like Gagan Patra, Tanu Patra, Minati Naika, Chakara Naiki, Chema Patra and Prafulla Naiki warned of an agitation if documents recording their rights are not issued to them.
Tehsil officials said that due to some restrictions issuing title deeds (pattas) to them is difficult.
Reports said tribals have been living in these villages for 50 years. Minati Nayak, a resident of Guapa, said, “People have applied for land rights to forest and revenue officials many times. But the officials are adopting dillydallying tactics in issuing title deeds (pattas).”
Former tehsildar Ramesh Jena and RI Kumar Chinkesh Senapati had visited these villages about a year ago and had assured them title deeds soon. But only 17 of the 107 people who were enlisted in the 2011 socio-economic survey report have got housing units.
Soro Ranger Pradip Jena made it clear that if the people of the area had applied for title deeds through the welfare extension officer before 2005, they would have got it.
RI Chinkesh Senapati said that due to some legal restrictions those applying for title deeds may not get it now.