Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nayagarh/Dasapalla, Feb 5:
The district administration is in a fix after Kui tribals refused to let go of timber for construction of chariot for Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Odisha’s Puri as their long-standing demands for fulfilment of basic amenities has not been met as promised last year.
On Thursday, the tribals warned that if their demands are not met, then this year the chariot during Rath Yatra might be of iron and not wood.
In Daspalla forest division, the tribals have detained five tractors, a trailer and a truck engaged to transport logs from Kujamendhi, Banigochha, Pokhrigochha forests at Debiri village. No amount of persuasion by the forest officials succeeded in convincing by the tribals.
It may be recalled that the tribals had been demanding electricity, transport facility and mobile tower facility, as well as education and health facilities in the Daspalla block, Banigochha zone villages.
The eight villages– Kujamendi, Banigochha, Kulurukumpa, Tumandi, Nuagaon, Kalsakhamana, Pokhrigochha, Chadheyapalli and Badasilinga and Chamunda villages under Gandia block have been demanding development.
The tribals have been holding dharna and strikes since last one month. The district collector has also met with them but failed to yield any results.
Yesterday, Daspalla forest ranger talked to Banigochha Zilla Parishad head Kishore Dalbehera but the talks have failed, reports said.
Notably, last year also the Kui tribals residing in 62 villages in Dasapalla forests had stalled transportation of logs for the two weeks demanding electricity connection, roads, drinking water and other basic facilities in their villages.