JAGATSINGHPUR: The Dalit and minority families of Punang village in Jagatsinghpur block are tired of political leaders and their hollow promises. The village, located just three km from the district and block headquarters, has 30 dalit and minority families with a population of 300. They live in penury due to non-provisioning of land rights, road, drinking water and other amenities.
Owing to absence of homestead land, the families have been residing on the embankment of a canal, road side and isolated areas of the village. Back in 1999, the district administration had allocated four decimal land to each family in Ward No 6 of the village. However, no efforts were made to provide land documents to them.
Laila Bibi, Sanjukta Das and Sahid Khan of the village said due to unavailability of land documents, they have not been able to construct concrete houses. They said Government sponsored housing schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Biju Awas Yojana and others remain a distant dream for the villagers.
“We have been paying tax and possess ration card, Aadhaar and toilets but our village is yet to have a proper approach road, drinking water and other facilities,” they rued.
The callousness and apathy of the elected representatives can be gauged by the fact that without land documents, the villagers do not possess important documents related to caste, income and others. The villagers said instead of allocating land in their favour, the tehsildar of Jagatsinghpur had served them eviction notice. They had sought the intervention of the Chief Minister, Collector and other officials to address their issues but nothing was done in this regard.
Jaibunu Bibi, a resident of the village, said during elections political party leaders come to the village for campaigning but fail to keep their promises once the polls are over. Another resident Saud Khan said his family has been residing on grazing land for the last 20 years. But recently, the tehsildar of Jagatsinghpur served him an eviction notice. He alleged this was done as the village does not support the ruling party.
Meanwhile, a senior revenue officer said the villagers were served eviction notices as they have illegally encroached upon the land in the village. He said once elections are over, steps will be taken to provide the families land documents after proper verification.