R Krishna Das The primitive tribe struggling for a time meal had been asked to pay fee for getting electricity connection in the village.
The state-run Chhattisgarh Power Distribution Company had generated a demand note of Rs 5.78 lakh for ensuring electricity connection in Boergaon village under the Mainpur block in Gariaband district. The village is home to the primitive tribe for whom the state and union government had been designing number of welfare projects.
The villagers, whose number could not be ascertained, were shocked to receive the demand note as they were not in a position to pay the amount. A delegation of villagers Thursday reached the state capital and met the chief minister, Raman Singh in Jan Darshan—the programme organised to note down the grievances of common people.
This was the first Jan Darshan of Singh after he assumed office for the third term in succession in December 2013. Within 3 hours, the chief minister received more than 2500 applications underlining the problems and grievances of the people.
Singh took a note on the villagers’ problem and forwarded the application to the district collector of Gariaband. “The chief minister had given instruction to the district collector to take necessary steps to resolve the problem (of Boergaon villagers), a state government spokesperson said. But the bigger issue is the approach of state-run power company to demand money from the tribe for whom the union and the state governments had been designing a number of projects for their welfare.
“Under the Integrated Tribal Welfare Programme, funds flow for the tribals but the government agencies had been misusing it,” Laxmi Chouhan, director of a Non Government Organisation (NGO), said. It is surprising that the state government had demanded money, though official, from the tribals to give power connection, he added.
With the fund that the state government gets for the programme, it could have paid the demand note issued by the power company, Chouhan added.