By:Mohan Lal Verma
After the restoration of ancestral property rights to the women in Tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh in a landmark judgment passed by the Himachal Pradesh High Court a month back, Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh, cleared his intention for providing land to landless and the younger sibling in Tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur to be given ‘Nautor’ land within six months. He confirmed it while presiding over the 44th meeting of the Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) today.
Mr. Virbhadra Singh said that there were age-old traditions in Lahaul and Spiti where there was a Bara Ghar (House of elder brother) and Chotta Ghar (younger brother) and the elder one inherited the property whereas the siblings either joined the monastery or nunneries or worked as laborers or opened small shops for a living. He said that he is of an opinion that this age-old tradition must change, and so he issued directions to formulate a policy in next six months so that all younger siblings get their share.
He said that there were many cases coming to his office regarding providing land to landless in Spiti area of the State and a radical policy be formulated to provide land to them and others in Tribal areas to be followed retrospectively in Kinnaur district as well.
The Chief Minister also assured for opening a HRTC Sub-Depot at Kaza and also announced fertilizers sub-depot at Udaipur. He said that a sub committee should be formed under the Chairmanship of Forest Minister, with Secretary of Law, Secretary of Forests, Secretary Tribal Development, PCCF to look into the Forest Clearance Cases in Tribal areas so that the development works does not hinder in view of the notification issued by the forest department in July 2014.
Taking cognizance of much delay in routing 66 KV electric line till Kaza and Losar, the Chief Minister suggested to hold a meeting under the Chief Secretary and submit report at the earliest. He said whatever survey was to be done should be done on priority and also directed to look into power cuts in Killar in Pangi valley and told to submit a report within 15 days.
Mr. Virbhadra Singh said that a survey of tunnel from Chamba to Pangi be seriously undertaken as it would reduce much distance to Killar and conveyed that the survey on Holi-Utrala Tunnel was being done by M/s SJVNL.
The Chief Minister however directed the department to fill up the vacant posts of doctors and para-medical staff in tribal areas on priority within two months positively. He directed to dispatch consignment of essential drugs of Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Allopathic in the Tribal areas before September or October. The Chief Minister took a serious view of non filling of posts of teachers of all categories by the education department in various schools of tribal areas, particularly in Lahaul and Bharmour-Pangi and said that the vacant posts be soon filled so that the study of the students do not suffer.
The Chief Minister also asked to restore eco-tourism facilities in Nichar. Besides, as per the demands of the farmers of Lahaul and Spiti for construction of poly houses, he said that the instruction had been issued to construct poly houses of different designs as compared to other areas of the State and a request regarding construction of poly houses beyond an area of 40 square meters would be considered and necessary instructions were issued to the Horticulture and Agriculture departments in this regard.