Telangana: Officials told to show restraint on Podu land issues

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has sought a report on the list of beneficiaries who received podu pattas for forest land during the BRS regime, with forest minister Konda Surekha on Saturday saying that she had received reports about irregularities and selection of ineligible people.

Surekha, along with panchayat raj minister Dansari Anasuya, was speaking at a meeting at the Secretariat to review various podu land-related issues that was attended by senior forest department officers.

Referring to Saturday’s incident in Nizamabad district where a woman forest range officer and her colleagues trying to prevent encroachment of a forest plantation were attacked by villagers, Surekha said anyone attempting to illegally occupy forest land will face strict action.

Surekha called on forest officials to act with restraint to ensure genuine podu patta beneficiaries are not harassed. “The government is as determined to ensure the interests of those practicing podu legally are protected, just as it is determined to ensure protection of forest staff performing their duties,” the minister said.

Anasuya said she had been a witness to conflicts over podu land and urged Surekha to ensure no hindrances are created in villages that have existed for a long time in the forests, and to clear hurdles from the forest department side to development activities in forest villages.

Meanwhile, the Telangana Junior Forests Officers Association representatives sought protection from attacks from people, and in a memorandum submitted to Surekha, urged her to take steps to protect their lives from the increasing threats they are facing while discharging their duties.

The minister in response, said that the government would take measures to ensure safety of forest officials and staff, and was ready to extend any assistance towards this end.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story