Women protest separate revenue village status in Odisha
Ahead of the next panchayat elections due in February 2022, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved a proposal to declare more than 4,000 hamlets in the State as revenue villages.
PARADIP: Soon after the state government declared Patana as a revenue village, a group of women from the hamlet under Dhinkia took out a mass rally and congregated at the Mahadev temple in the area as a mark of protest against the decision. Alleging that the move was the administration’s ploy of divide-and-rule policy to foil their movement against industries, the protesters said they will intensify the agitation if the decision is not withdrawn.
Mahala and Patana under Dhinkia panchayat were bifurcated into revenue villages by the State government. While Mahala was given revenue village status in April, Patana got the tag on August 9, said Erasama tehsildar C Prangyananda Das. The women agitators in Patana said the government is making these decisions not in the interest of the people but for its own benefit.
“There are so many poverty-stricken women in Dhinkia who have been deprived of housing schemes and other government benefits despite being eligible. Instead of paying attention to their needs, the administration is concentrating on dividing the village for its own reasons,” added Anupama Biswal, one of the protestors from Patana. The villagers are of the view that after villages are given separate revenue status, they will not get the support of each other for various causes in the panchayat.
After Mahala was made a revenue village, a notification was issued on June 28 for demarcation work to be carried out on July 5. However, the villagers of Dhinkia and Mahala had then also protested the move. On the day, hundreds of residents of Dhinkia had halted the bifurcation process citing violation of Covid protocols and the work was indefinitely postponed. Ahead of the next panchayat elections due in February 2022, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved a proposal to declare more than 4,000 hamlets in the State as revenue villages.