BHUBANESWAR : The State Government on Sunday said there was no forcible evacuation of tribals to safer places to protect them from the impact of Hud Hud which is set to cross the south Odisha districts on Sunday night.
Evacuation of tribals from their habitations to safety had come under focus as they generally do not want to leave their villages.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Mohapatra informed mediapersons that a lot of persuasion was used to evacuate the tribals from their villages to safer places.
Though the State Government is empowered under Section 34 of Disaster Management Act to forcibly evacuate persons to safer places during natural disasters, no force was used in case of tribals, he said.
The cyclone is set to pass through Mathili and Khairput areas, the habitations of Bondas and other tribals, on Sunday night.
The Malkangiri district administration is finding it tough to convince the Bonda tribals to leave their houses on the Bonda hills and come to shelters set up by it. Most Bonda tribals have never come down from their abode atop the hill, expected to be among the worst hit areas in the path of the cyclone, in their lifetime.
The administration proposed to evacuate at least 2,000 of the 7,000 upper Bonda tribals who inhabit the hills and live in unsafe kutcha houses.
The administration is using the services of Dambaru Sisa, Chitrakonda MLA, who is himself a member of the Bonda community, in trying to convince them.
The 560 Bondas, who did agree for evacuation are being sheltered at two gram panchayat buildings, at Andrahal and Mudulipada.
This apart, three permanent school buildings have also been readied to accommodate them.
Arrangements have been made to run free kitchens to provide cooked food to the evacuated tribals at the
centres set up to shelter them.
Sisa, however, said after a majority of Bondas left the shelters after having food as there was no rain or wind last night. Some of them were again persuaded back to the shelters in the morning. Except for children and women, all have left for their villages.
Malkangiri MLA Manas Madkami said tribals in his constituency were evacuated to school and other office buildings. But, the district administration has not provided food to those who have shifted from their villages last night, Madkami alleged and said he has brought this to the notice of the Chief Secretary on Sunday.