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Will launch another stir for pattas, if needed, says tribal body chief in Telangana

ADILABAD: Farmers who cultivate the forest land in the erstwhile Adilabad district have submitted 83,000 applications seeking pattas for 3.1 lakh acres of land.

The Adivasi Sena State president, Kova Daulath Rao, has appealed to the government to issue pattas to all tribal farmers cultivating the forest lands without restrictions.

He also called for a round table conference on the podu land cultivation issue on February 15. He has urged the Adivasis to prepare for another agitation if necessary.

The recent statement by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in the Assembly that the government would soon distribute pattas for podu land raised hopes among the tribal farmers. However, several other restrictions dampened these hopes.

A committee was appointed by the State government last year to collect applications from the forest land cultivation farmers. Out of the 83,000 applications received in the erstwhile Adilabad district, only 10% were from farmers who had been cultivating the land before 2005.

District-wise, 24,561 applications have been received in the Adilabad district for 97,892 acres, 31,633 in the Kumurambheem Asifabad district for 1,19,840.35 acres, 11,938 in the Mancherial district for 36,252.14 acres, and 14,868 in the Nirmal district for 47,112.31 acres.

In comparison, the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh had received 70,053 applications for 2,68,178.49 acres of land, out of which 37,324 pattas were distributed for 1,36,117.877 acres. The majority of these applications were from non-tribal farmers, and only 10-15% were those cultivating the land before 2005.

Similarly, around 2,000 applications were received for the land in Kawal Tiger Reserve (Jannaram division), but only half of these were approved. Only 50-60 farmers are expected to receive pattas. T

he same situation prevails in the erstwhile Adilabad district. The committee has collected applications twice, but the problems remain unsolved. The disputes between the forest department and the Adivasis during the rainy season create hurdles every year.