Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Vijay Rupani launched implementation of the Rule-2017 under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act in 4,503 Gram Sabhas under 2,584 village panchayats in 50 predominantly tribal talukas in eight districts of the state during Van and Vanbandhu Kalyan Mela from Chhota Udepur.
The rule under PESA empowers the tribal people living in forest areas to various privileges including minor forest produces and minor minerals. The income thus generated could be used for the development of the region.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Shri Rupani said the forest and its produces are synonymous with the life of the tribal. He said the government initiative would herald the golden period of tribal development in the state and prove to be the sunrise for the tribal people. The step would ensure the Gram Sabhas would fix the loan interest and eliminate the moneylenders calling shots, create separate security force for forest and leasing quarries to them, using pond water and other facilities, implement complete prohibition.
He said the government proposed to start medical colleges in the tribal areas so that the tribal doctors, engineers and scientists to contribute to the development of the state over the next ten years. The government provided free treatment of prevalence of sickle anemia among tribal people in forest areas. The government would take up appointment of teachers in remote areas on priority, with dry hostel and with food facility. There already is Rs.4,800-crore drinking and irrigation water projects under implementation.
CM Shri Rupani distributed token cheques and letters of agreements worth Rs.20-crore to beneficiaries, released a booklet explaining the details. He inaugurated an Eklavya Model Residency School with five star facilities built by Gujarat State Tribal Education Society at a cost of Rs.18-crore at Puniavant. The government has built 80 such schools for 28,000 bright tribal students across the state. He inaugurated and laid foundation stones of other projects totaling Rs.98-crore in the region.
Those present on the occasion included Union Tribal Development Minister Shri Jasvantsinh Bhabhor, Forest and Tribal Development Minister Shri Ganpat Vasava, Ministers of State Shri Shabdasharan Tadvi, Shri Jayantilal Kavadia and Shri Bachubhai Khabad, Parliamentary Secretary Shri Jayantibhai Rathwa, MP Shri Ramsinh Rathwa, Shri Mansukh vasava, MLAs Smt Nimishaben Suthar, Shri Motisinh Vasava, Shri Rameshbhai Katara, Van Vikas Nigam Chairman Smt Ramilaben Bara, Additional Chief Secretary Shri Arvind Agrawal, Shri Rajgopal, Principal Secretary Shri R. C. Meena, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Shri Kuldeep Goyal, District Collector Shri Vijay Kharadi and DDO Shri Aurangabadkar.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat