New Delhi: Vowing to make the rehabilitation of tribals who have lost their lands and dwellings his top priority, Lok Sabha member from Araku in Coastal Andhra region, V Kishore Chandra Deo on Thursday took charge as the new Tribal Affairs Minister at the Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.
Tribal Affairs Secretary Arvind Kumar Chugh and other senior officials in the Ministry were present on the occasion.
Talking to media persons after assuming charge, the Union Minister said he will strive for the timely and efficient implementation of schemes launched by the ministry along with the grant of land rights to the tribal people dwelling in the forest areas and the forest rights.
He also assured that he will ensure that the funds granted under the Integrated Action Plan currently being implemented by the Ministry of Home affairs are utilised as per the plan. “Rehabilitation of tribals is a major issue, especially in Schedule 5 areas of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Gujarat,” he said.
“Most of the tribes in these areas are displaced because of mining and other industrial projects. We will have to look at the industrial activities in these areas. These activities are a major reason behind their displacements,” Mr Deo stated.
Besides this, the Union Minister, known for keeping away from the media glare, asserted that he would make efforts to prevent tribals, Girijans and unemployed youth from being attracted by Naxal ideology. “We will make concerted efforts to provide alternate sources of income to the tribals so that they do not fall into the Naxalism trap,” Mr Deo stated.
The Union Minister also stated that he would work towards better coordination with other ministries like Environment and Rural Development so that there is no overlapping of the work being carried out by those Ministries.
Asked to comment on the separate Telangana statehood demand, Mr Deo said that his Ministry was not connected to the issue.
Later Mr KC Deo convened a meeting with Ministry officials and stressed for the efficient implementation of Tribal welfare measures. (INN)