Sundargah Zilla Sarpanch Mahasangh Organises district level Sarpanch Samabesh

Sundargarh: Sundargah Zilla Sarpanch Mahasangh(SZSM) Organised one day district level Sarpanch Samabesh at Madrikarlo Bhawan, Sundargarh on 27th April 2018. In the samabesh all 279 sarpanches from 17 block of the district participated. The sambesh meeting was presided by the Sarpanch Mahasangh President Narasingh Minz. The District Panchayat Officer, Gurva Singh joined as chief guest in the Programme while Dr. Manohar Chauhan, Senior Campaigner joined as chief speaker in the Samavesh. Sarpanch Oskar Kindo and Khyamsil Majhi coordinated the programme. In the samabesh all the sarpanch of the district came together keeping aside their political party affiliation and discussed the local issues openly. They also raised unnecessary political interference and bureaucratic dominancy in the panchayat activities.
Addressing the mahasabha, the president of the Zilla sarpanch mahasabh said, “ despite the whole district comes under scheduled 5th area and pro tribal legislations and various developmental programs, still most of our people are living in poverty and their community rights over natural resources have been largely bypassed.”
Manohar Chauhan, Senior Campaigner sharing the land scenario of the district, said “Sundargarh is fully a scheduled 5th district sharing 6.23 per cent of the total geographical area and but shares only 4.96 per cent of the total population of the State of Odisha. While 70.92 per cent of the land of the district is recorded as government land only 29.08 per cent land recorded under private ownership(patta land) and if we take 70.92 per cent of the district govt land as 100 per cent then of it 57.16 per cent is the forest land and rest 47.80 per cent land is non-forest revenue land mostly categorized as wastelands. Of the total forest land 58.50 per cent is the revenue forest land falling within the revenue boundary of villages and rest 41.50 per cent is the reserve forest land. He also shared on the land rights and rights recognized under PESA Act, 1996 and Forest Rights Act, 2006 and called upon the sarpaches to empower the community people strengthening gram sabha and to exercise the gram sabha power recognised under FRA and PESA.
Sharing the latest FRA implementation status the district, Dr. Chauhan informed the sarpanches that by the end Dec 2017, 39,756 STs and 555 OTFDs have reported to have filed IFR claims and only 18,778 IFR titles reported to have been issued to the tribals and 555 to OTFDs in the district over 24,378.9 acres and 1,064 acres of forest land respectively. It is also reported that while 450 community forest rights by the gram sabha, but till date no community forest rights right titles have been issued in the district and about 17,306 IFR claims of STs have been reported rejected.
It is to be noted that Sundarh district spread over 9712 square km (23,98,664 acres) having 17 blocks and 279 gram panchayats having 50 per cent of the sarpach as woman. There are 1668 revenue villages in the district . Besides more than hundreds forest and unsurvey villages in the district ofwhich 2001 census identified 46 only.
Rebati Chatria, sarpach of Sangumuda G.P. of Hemgiri block raised serious concern over land acquisition for coal mines bypassing PESA Act, 1996 and FRA, 2006 in her block and in the whole Sundargarh district demanded immediate investigating from the Govt. Mr. Anil Barla, Sarpanch block president of Koida Block raised serious concern over non-utilization of District Mineral Fund(DMF) despite planning at the village and panchayat level from last 2015-16 and demanded immediate utilization of pending 1400 crore (per annum) DMF in the whole district.
After listening all the speakers of the programme, District Panchayat Officer, Gurva Singh shared on the various provisions of the panchayatiraj act, 1964 and duly amended from time to time and said that “so far state Govt.of Odisha do not give clear instruction on the PESA,1996 to its lower functionaries, it is difficult to implement the provisions of central PESA, Act, 1996” he also informed that the State intelligence have taken note from him on the growing resentment at the people of the district demanding the implementation of central PESA act and he said “hopefully the State Govt. will very soon bring PESA Rules in the State to implement pesa act in its true spirit.”
The major demands made in the samavesh was to implement the central PESA Act, 1996 in its true spirit to recognition of individual and community forest rights in the district under FRA, 2006, dissolution of Vana Surakshy Samiti(VSS) and handing over ownership and management right of forest to the gram sabhaa. The Mahasangh also demanded panchayat in every villages and the provision of FRA gram sabha for all purposes, abolition of Panchayat Samiti(the second tire of Panchayatiraj and direct transfer of fund to the gram panchayat halting of unnecessary political and bureaucratic interference in the decisions of the gram panchayat etc. Besides, the Sarpanch Mahasangh reiterated its demands i.e. monthly Salary of sarpanch @ Rs.10,000/- per month, Sarpanch lad fund of Rs.20 lakh per annum for the infrastructural development of the panchayat, Insurance of all sarpaches etc.
Besides, all sarpanch participants, the 17 block presidents i.e., Khyamasil Majhi of Hemgir block, Budheswari Majhi of Lepripada block, Maheswar Oram of Tangarpali block, Kapileswar Dhamel of Sadar Sundargarh block, Bikram Toppo of Badgaon block, Gangadhar Minz of Kutra block, Sunil Kissan of Bonai Block, Sanjukta Bindu Lakra of Lathikata block, Anand Ekka of Bisra block, Sushil Kispatta of Nuagoan block, Ajay Naik of Luhunipada block, Oskar Kumar Kindo of Kuanrmunda block, Champa Tirky of Gurundia Block, Anil Barla of Koida block, Dillip Tete of Gurundia block and Dinabandhu Tete of Balisankara Block were present in the samabesh.
At the end of the programme, Bijay Kerketta, Milidihi sarpanch of Rajgaangpur Block gave vote of thanks to all the guests and all sarpanch participated in the mahasamabesh.

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