Halt of resurvey hits bid to restore tribal land
Prabhat Nair | THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
The government’s decision to put on hold the resurvey work has dealt a heavy blow in efforts for restoration of alienated land to the tribal people with many leaders of tribal organisations and others urging to restart the resurvey.
Though the struggle for land for the tribals has been going on for long, the tribals feel that the successive governments in the state led by the Congress and the CPM have made only feeble efforts to address the issue. With the resurvey work being stopped, it is alleged that it would only help those who are in possession of encroached land and also lead to more encroachments. This would also harm efforts to restore the alienated land to the tribals.
Stating that the government has not kept its word of providing land to the tribals, Adivasi Kshema Samithi president K C Kunhiraman said that the government’s decision to stop resurvey will not help the adivasis. ‘’Once the government initiated resurvey, we had a hope that the alienated land of the adivasis will be restored. However, now the government says that the private lands would only be re-surveyed if the individual demands it,’’ he said. Even in cases where the resurvey has been completed, the records have to be finalised.
‘’When the UDF Government came to power, it said that all the landless adivasis will be provided land by 2012. Discussions were held many times in this regard but nothing concrete had happened,’’ he said, adding that the excess land could not be traced if the resurvey work is stopped.
Former Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes A K Balan also raised apprehensions about putting on hold the resurvey. ‘’During the LDF regime, we had gone ahead with the resurvey of land. However, this government has only tried to scuttle the resurvey,’’ he said. He sought the restoration of resurvey work.
However, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash said that stopping the resurvey work was not in any way connected with land distribution for the adivasis.
‘’The resurvey work had been stopped after complaints were raised against it. However, the government is firm on providing land to the adivasis. All allegations that a halt to resurvey work will effect the restoration of alienated land to the tribal people is baseless,’’ he said.
Wayanad Prakriti Samrakshana Samiti leader Badusha alleged that all successive governments in the state had no interest in the welfare of the adivasis.
‘’There are lots of excess land in the state. Once the resurvey was conducted, the excess land could have been traced and distributed to the adivasis,’’ he said.