ADILABAD: The state forest department is seriously making efforts to take the podu lands into their control and raise plantations on them. However, TRS MLAs have remained silent as the forest officials are not wilting under political pressure and are sticking to their guns.
It appears like a fight is imminent between forest officials and adivasis in Adilabad district. Officials from Asifabad are likely to take podu lands into their hands and plant saplings at Ullipitta Dorli near Khairiguda open cast mine in Tiryani mandal.
Kolam tribals, who are considered PVTG (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups), are cultivating podu lands near Ullipitta Dorli, where Kolams have been demanding pattas to the podu lands.
Recently, local MLA Atram Sakku and project officer Bhavesh Mishra visited Ullipitta Dorli. However, the forest officials concerned are going ahead with their plan to plant saplings. They say that cultivation of podu lands was not before the cut-off date fixed by under the Forest Rights Act. They are depending on satellite maps to identify the locations and ascertain whether cultivation date vis-à-vis Forest Rights Act, particularly in and around Adilabad, Tiryani, Penchikalpet and Bejjur mandals.
Meanwhile, forest officials stated that they would restrain from their plan only if the project officer of ITDA issues orders to that effect.
Meanwhile, an audio of the FRO of Tiryani mandal that has gone viral, shows him threatening adivasis of sending them to jail if they did not mend their ways.
Kolam Seva Sangham state president Tekam Bhaskar appealed to project officer Bhavesh Mishra, Asifabad MLA Atram Sakku and ZP chairperson Kova Laxmi to ensure that Kolam adivasis get pattas to the podu lands near Ullipitta in Tiryani mandal.