HYDERABAD: A delegation of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), led by the commission’s chairperson Nand Kumar Sai, that arrived in the State two days ago and has been carrying out inspections at various parts of Telangana, addressed the media on Thursday and elaborated their observations.
Stressing on the issue of land rights, the chairperson spoke about various problems faced by the Chenchu Tribals and their longstanding demand for land. “We met the Chenchus. Speaking to us, they raised the issue of not having proper lands and also the ongoing situation where they are losing rights on forest land. Chenchus also told us that there is no proper road connectivity to several of their areas. We have asked the government to enquire on both issues and find solutions for them immediately,” said Kumar.
Another matter of concern that the commission raised before the government was the delay in setting up the Tribal University in Mulugu. The chairperson noted that they have asked the government to immediately analyse the issues pertaining to land acquisition for the project and also to kick-start the processes for the establishment of the varsity soon. “We have also observed that several Schedule Tribe (ST) communities continue to lie below the poverty line and the efforts in force for their upliftment still require more momentum,” Kumar added.
From the end of the Tribals, there was another plea to increase the number of guaranteed working days from 100 to 150 days for Schedule Caste (SC) and ST communities as it is the only way of livelihood that pulls them out of poverty, the commission personnel said. The commission also assured that they will forward the requests made by the Tribals to the Central government and other departments concerned.
The delegation also met State Chief Secretary SK Joshi, Director General of Police (DGP) M Mahender Reddy and all principal secretaries of various departments. The delegation was briefed about various schemes and projects in place by the officials concerned for the upliftment of the backward communities in TS. Meanwhile, he lauded the State government’s bid to allot 2-BHK houses for underprivileged.