Keonjhar: Over the years, hundreds of tribal families have been leading a miserable life in the absence of any developmental activities in Hadagada Forest Reserve under Hatadihi block in Keonjhar district. As these villages have not been granted revenue status, development is not a priority here for the administration, local tribals said.
According to reports, hundreds of tribal families reside at Mallipasi, Sarmundi, Kanlai, Balipal, Mayurachana and Bhanr hamlets in Balipal panchayat. There has been development work in these inaccessible villages inside the Hadagad sanctuary.
When the Hadagad project was executed, these tribal families were displaced. They were rehabilitated at different places but those lacked even the most basic of facilities. As a result, these families shifted back inside the forests again.
It was alleged that the panchayat headquarter village itself has been deprived of revenue village status. Over the last 50 years, the tribal people have been living inside the reserve forests. Later, the area these tribal families inhabited became a part of the wildlife sanctuary. “As our villages are not tagged as revenue villages, we are deprived of development and welfare schemes,” the villagers pointed out.
The district administration has prepared a list of revenue villages, non-survey villages and old settlements, but the names of these villages have not been included, they lamented. They also expressed their displeasure over the issue. They pointed out that the administration focuses on revenue villages when it comes to carrying out various development works and implementing welfare schemes.
Some villagers including Sriram Naik, Dabendra Naik, Mitu Naik and Naba Naik have urged Governor Ganeshi Lal to direct the government to accord revenue status to their villages.