01 February 2012, Ganjam
The first stop of Jan Samwad Yatra was Gunchhawari Village, where Ekta Parishad and Sabar Panchayat jointly arranged a public hearing. In this hearing, more than 200 tribal from 21 villages participated. Pathani Nayak of Guncchawari shared that there were 25 tribal families who are cultivating a piece of land for many years but even after submitting several applications, they did not get entitlement of that land. Tunna Behda of Village Lubiyapada shared that
110 families were displaced by Dhanai Dam in 1962. These families had applied for land entitlement under Forest Right Act (FRA) but the authorities did not take any action. Mr. Sukani Sabar of village Bhaliyamal told that there were around 50-55 families who had applied for land entitlement in his village but only few have got land that too, only 25 to 40 decimal. Similar kind of cases were shared by the tribals from village Khura, Usta, Sukalipara and Chachrapalli.
Speaking in the public hearing, Senior Social Worker Mr. Praful Samntara shared that there were a total of 10651 applications filled in Ganjam district of Orissa. Out of these applications, only 5047 land entitlements application have been cleared and given around 1163 acre land till today. Remaining applications were either dismissed or are still pending for further action. These tribal have not been informed by the authorities on their application status. Applications for the rights on community land have not been entertained by the state government. He also shared that no financial assistance is arranged by the government for land improvement. Amar Nayak, a senior social worker showed hope that Jan Samwad Yatra will be able to highlight the plight of thousands of land occupants, who did not get their due rights on land and government will take the desired action after discussions with the yatra.
Second Stop of Yatra: Village Bhatpara, District Khurda
In the public hearing, Lakshmi Sabar of village Burushail shared that there are 30 tribal families who have built their houses and are cultivating a piece of land. They had applied for land entitlement under FRA but were not given land entitlement under the act. Jagannath Jani of village Kurchepalli said that in
his village, around 24 families had filed applications and as per government information, these applications are still pending at the sub divisional level. Raiwari Pradhan of village Gramdalgovind shared that he got land under the FRA but land has not been demarcated. Similarly, 36 families of village Dhuliyasahi are awaiting demarcation (after getting land) entitlement under FRA. He shared that local officials are demanding bribe for carrying out the demarcation. Purno, a social worker shared that an enquiry is pending against forest officials for transferring land to non tribal in this area. Secondly, due to potential Bauxite ore in the area, applications were not entertained by the state government. Bhapada and 10 other villages declared to join the campaign.