School a dream for tribal kids, as encroachers ‘gobble up’ land

World over, living standards are gaining pace to hurriedly pitch the global village camp. Opportunities and resources, however, remain elusive to some corners.
School a dream for tribal kids, as encroachers ‘gobble up’ land

TIRUVANNAMALAI: World over, living standards are gaining pace to hurriedly pitch the global village camp. Opportunities and resources, however, remain elusive to some corners. In this case, the tribal students at Jawadhu Hills are the affected unfortunate ones. 

The Government Tribal Residential Middle School in Arasaveli, atop the Hills, was allotted 5.54 acres of land in 2012 for constructing school buildings and a play ground. Today, farming flourishes on the land, courtesy encroachers.

The Revenue Department had transferred the land in Bargur village to the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, which is under the School Education Department for the school construction, sources said.

With the local villagers imposing themselves on the land, the students at GTR Middle School are denied enough place to sit or a playground. Poor sanitation at the school premises also torment the kids. The school has a strength of 382 students.

Even after the Government Order upgrading the middle school to high school was issued last year, the authorities concerned remain callous in retrieving the land for raising infrastructure required for a high school.

Official team visits site

Following a recent report in TNIE on the infrastructure woes, an official team, comprising Project Officer of the Tribal Welfare Department Elango, Jamunamarathur Tahsildar Venkatesan and acting headmistress Regina Mary, visited the site at Bargur on Wednesday.

“Steps for retrieving the land have been initiated,” Elango said. A survey was also carried out to measure the extent of the land, where classrooms and hostels will also be raised.

Meanwhile, sources alleged that the local villagers who had encroached upon the land are attempting to scuttle the eviction move.

The Revenue Department officials have expressed inability to evict the encroachments unless they receive a formal request. “If only we get a formal request from the department concerned (Tribal Welfare), we will take steps to clear the encroachment. We haven’t yet received any such request,” said Venkatesan.

Elango added that his department will shortly hand over a formal request to the Revenue Department in this regard. “The land will be retrieved in a week’s time,” he assured.

caption: The land measuring 5.54 acre allotted for tribal school atop Jawadhu Hills in Tiruvannamalai district has been under encroachment of local villagers

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