18,000 tribal families to get cheques today
AS many as 18,000 tribal families living below poverty line (BPL) will get cheques worth Rs 21,000 each as the first installment of Sardar Patel Avas Yojna (SPAY) while 4,700 others will get land ownership titles at a Garib Kalyan Mela to be organised at Chhota Udepur in Vadodara district on Monday. This will be second such mela in the tribal taluka within four months.
The mela is for three talukas of Vadodara district — Chhota Udepur, Kawant and Pavi Jetpur. Chief Minister Narendra Modi will give away the cheques to the SPAY beneficiaries, all of them are women. Similarly, the CM will also distribute land ownership titles among 4,700 beneficiaries of Forest Right Act 2006.
The land ownership beneficiaries of Naswadi taluka will also get their titles after government cleared their claims.
Under the SPAY, state government gives Rs 45,000 to BPL families working as farm labourers or traditional craftsmen to build pukka houses.
However, the implementation of Forest Right Act 2006 has not been a rough ride for the state government. It has faced criticism from NGOs for rejecting 1.13 lakh out of 1.56 lakh claims for land under Forest Right 2006.
The Act provides for awarding ownership title to a person of a plot of land which he has been cultivating since 2005. To prove the cultivation of land, the government has agreed to accept satellite imagery as secondary evidence.
Accordingly, it had assigned Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics , Gandhinagar, to prepare maps of forest areas.
However, the BISAG map have been found inaccurate in many cases and claimants have submitted maps downloaded from Google Earth. However, the matter of accepting Google maps as evidence is pending before the Gujarat High Court.
In Vadodara district alone, 17,000 persons have claimed land under the
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