Madikeri: The housing problem of Diddalli tribals looks set to continue. Much was riding on the visit of Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa but the minister's visit couldn't put an end to the problem. The minister promised to provide sites and land to tribals in Diddalli itself if the land is proved to be 'paisari' after verification.
But several people have questioned the government's decision. Codava national council president N U Nachappa said the Devamachchi reserve forest was a natural habitat of elephants and other wild animals. Nachappa said he suspected the timber lobby behind the agitation of Diddalli tribals. "If government distributes land to tribals, the trees will be auctioned by forest department," he said. Nachappa said the government's move would exacerbate the human-elephant conflict, which was at its peak in south kodagu now. "If the government takes such decision to distribute land in Diddalli itself, it is foolishness as the forest is under elephant corridor," he said.
Budakattu Krishikara Sangha President J P Raju also opposed the distribution of land to tribals in Diddalli. He said that tribals living in district since centuries did not get a piece of land, but tribals from outside the district were trying to get land through agitation. He said the government should first consider local tribals to distribute house sites.
The district administration has already identified land to Diddalli tribals in three places, but tribals are insisting land in Devamachchi RF which is impossible.
By: Indresh Madikeri