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Dangaria Kondhs demand development of Niyamgiri in Odisha

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Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Nov 12:

Alleging that the special agencies formed by the Centre and the Odisha government for effective implementation of welfare programmes for the developmentof  Scheduled Tribes (ST) dominated areas of the state have failed to deliver the basic amenities to the Dangaria Kondh tribals, the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS) has taken up the matter, for the first time ever, with the district administration yesterday.

DONGARIA PHOTOLed by Bari Pidikaka, Tulasa Pusika and Dirka Hikaka, a 11-member delegation of the Samiti from Dhamanapanga, Garatha, Sana Denguni, Bada Denguni, Munikhol, Serkapadu, Kesarpadu, Batudi, Ambadhuni  and Panimunda villages in the Niyamgiri area of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, met Rayagada district collector, PA, ITDA and other senior district officials at Rayagada on Tuesday and submitted a 10-point charter of demands.

The demands include a special hospital for the Dangaria Kondhs, appointment of school teachers with regular supervision to ensure uninterrupted teaching, land pattas to all inhabitants of Niyamgiri with 10 acres of land and house to each family, provision for supply of drinking water and horticulture facilities.

During the meeting, the delegation demanded an immediate end to atrocities by the police and Central forces on the poor tribals during combing operations against the Maoists in the Niyamgiri area.

The district administration informed the delegation that it had taken up a number of works, including construction of Panimunda bridge, Serkapadu-Kesarpadu-Batudi all-weather road, Muniguda-Sakata and Sakata-Ambadhuni roads.

The delegation also agreed to the request of the district administration for construction of a 7-feet wide road in Niyamgiri area.

It was revealed during the meeting that the Maoists were behind the protest for construction of this road.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Rayagada collector Sashi Bhusan Padhi said that the first meeting with the Samiti had gone off very well.

“We are hopeful that the district administration and the state government would take appropriate steps on the fulfillment of the demands of the Samiti,” said Bari Pidikaka.

Among others, Rayagada PA, ITDA, Gorachand Gamang, Gunupur PA, ITDA, Karunakar Raika and special officer of Dangaria Kondh Development Agency (DKDA) were present at the meeting.