Odisha

National ST Commission To Visit Vulnerable Tribal Pockets To Be Affected By Polavaram: Sai

**Bhubaneswar: ** Following the complaint lodged by Odisha Government against the Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as thousands of tribal population in Malkangiri district are going to be displaced and devoid of their livelihood, National ST Commissioner Nanda Kumar Sai on Friday assured that he would see that they are properly rehabilitated.

He even stated that the ST Commission would visit the vulnerable tribal pockets if required.

The National ST Commissioner was on his official visit to the State here on Friday and held discussion with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and took stock of the situation.

On the Polavaram issue, the Chief Minister urged the Commissioner to intervene soon into the Polavaram displacement matter as over 5000 tribals are going to be affected by it.

Sai also held discussion with the Odisha Chief Secretary about implementation of various schemes meant for the development of the ST population in the State.

In his media reactions after his crucial meetings at the State Secretariat here, National ST Commissioner Nanda Kumar Sai said, “I myself on behalf of the Commission had written a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard.”

“I had drawn his attention to the plight of the tribals apperehended to be affected adversely by Polvaram project. They are very poor people and their landed property is their sole livelihood. Till they are properly rehabilitated, they should not be evacuated,” Sai stated.

He further stated, “Following my letter to the Prime Minister, the Union Tribal Affairs Minister has issued statements on it. I’ll cross check his statements if correct or not. If situation warrants, Commission will make a spot survey.”

“The Chief Minister has also specifically apprised me to see that the tribals of Malkangiri villages shouldn’t be displaced due to Polavaram till appropriate alternative arrangement has been assured to them,” the National ST Commissioner informed.

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