Tribals suffer as admin makes no use of DMF funds

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Raisuan: There are forests all around, no sight of any road. Low-hanging thatched houses and dust particles hanging in air paint a picture of neglect about Urumunda village, a mine-bearing area under Bansapal block in Keonjhar.

As per guidelines, the DMF fund is supposed to be used for development of mine-bearing areas, but this village is allegedly deprived of DMF fund.

Even though 72 years have passed since independence, there has been no visible development in the tribal-dominated village. Social activists lamented that the village has been neglected in every aspect like communication, drinking water, education and healthcare despite the district having a huge amount of fund at the District Mineral Foundation.

They alleged that the district administration has paid little attention to the development of the village while favourisitm is shown to the mining firm operating in the areas.

According to reports, about 90 per cent of the residents belong to Scheduled Tribes and daily wagers. But there is no scope of work even though mining is going on in their areas for long. To make matters worse, MGNRGS is almost non-existent here.

DMF fund is supposed to be spent on development of basic infrastructure and welfare of mining-bearing areas. The village is affected by OMC mines at Suakati.

However, this village has been deprived of this, lamented social activists. “Till date, there is no road laid to our village. We have been facing a lot of commuting problems in case of emergency like transporting patients to hospitals,” the villagers rued.

In several cases in the past, patients and pregnant women were carried on cots out of the village for about 5 km on a foot track.

Mining has been a bane rather than a boon for the poor tribals. Due to mining, the village is severely affected by pollution with dust particles floating in air.

Mamata Yojana is a dream for them, because many pregnant women have to deliver at home. Such incidents go unreported.

In 2013, an Anganwadi centre was set up in the village. But it has no house. The Anganwadi worker runs it on the verandah of her own house.

It was alleged that most of the children of the village were malnourished, given their emaciated condition, distended bellies and cavernous eyes.

Social activists said the district administration should pay attention to the development of the village with DMF fund. A road is badly needed for ushering in other development, they noted.

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