Andhra Pradesh

Tribals of Visakhapatnam’s Agency areas on warpath against one-time settlement

VISAKHAPATNAM: The State government’s flagship programme, Jagananna Saswata Gruha Hakku (one-time settlement), Visakhapatnam’s Agency areasas left tribespeople in fuming. The tribesmen felt that the programme would violate the Land Transfer Regulation Act 1 of 1970–popularly known as 1/70 Act–which prevents the transfer of tribal land to non-tribals.

The Centre has enacted a law, ensuring the right to property to only tribespeople in Agency areas, and curbs were imposed on land transfer in the fifth schedule area under the 1/70. However, the State government order (GO) on the implementation of the Saswata Gruha Hakku scheme included the Agency areas also. The implementation of the order would help non-tribals to own properties in the Agency area, according to Girijana Sangham.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Sangham secretary P Appala Narsa said they were demanding the suspension of the one-time settlement scheme. The scheme was being extended for houses constructed under government schemes or houses constructed with government loans. The houses paying house tax would be eligible for registration under one-time settlement.

He said many non-tribals have been paying house tax in Paderu, Pedabayalyu, Munchingput, Chitntapallle, Araku and other Agency mandals and their houses would be registered as mapping of the houses under the scheme was already over.

Besides, registrations would be done in Sachivalayams itself as per the GO. He said it would breach the 1/70 regulation. There were no guidelines against registering houses of non-tribals, he said, adding that the new order would help in the registration of as many as 5,000 no-tribal houses in the Agency areas. Only tribals should be given permanent housing rights in the scheduled areas, he said.

Meanwhile, Girijan Sangham, in association with Tribal Employees Association, and other tribal unions gave a call for Chalo ITDA (Integrated Tribal Development Agency) at Paderu on October 22 to protest against the one-time settlement plan.

The rally would also demand the revival of GO 3 for 100 per cent reservation for tribals and oppose the deletion of Valmiki and Bhagata castes from scheduled castes, Narsa said.

What is the issue

Under Jagananna Saswata Gruha Hakku, houses paying house tax are eligible for registration under one-time settlement

5,000 houses of non-tribals will be registered in Agency areas

Girijana Sangham says this violated the 1/70 Act

Chalo ITDA

Tribal associations have given a call for Chalo ITDA at Paderu on October 22 to oppose one-time settlement for non-tribals in Agency