JAMMU, Jan 8: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that the Government has earmarked Rs 120 crore for infrastructure development in the areas inhabited by the tribal population.
The Minister said this while speaking at the annual Gujjar-Bakerwal Conference here.
Zulfkar said Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti is working tirelessly for the development and welfare of the State’s tribal population. He said the Government has earmarked Rs 120 crore for infrastructure development in tribal habitations across the State.
During his interaction with the tribal leaders of the State, the Minister said that the present dispensation understands the problems and hardships that the tribal community faces and is keen to take all possible measures to address these at an earliest.
He said the CM regularly seeks update on the various initiatives and the schemes launched for the tribal population of the State. The Minister said every time he has a meeting with the CM, she asks for the update of the steps that are being taken for the welfare of the community.
Assuring full support to the community leaders in their pursuit to meet their genuine demands, the Minister said the Government is committed for the overall development of the tribals of the State, particularly, Gujjar-Bakerwal community, and concerted efforts are being made for their uplift and development in all spheres of life.
During the conference, the tribal leaders projected their demands including rehabilitation of tribals with permanent settlement policy, implementation of Forest Rights Act, implementation of Reservation Rules, judicious use of tribal funds, creation of infrastructure in tribal bastis, allocation of funds as per the population from normal fund flow of the State, avoiding misuse of Section-188, preventing frequent dislocation of the community by various agencies and cluster model villages in every tehsil.
Expressing their dismay over the conditions of Gujjar Hostel, the leaders also demanded that hostel board should be constituted to monitor the overall improvement of the hostels. They also demanded that hostels be converted into residential schools.
The Minister was also requested that Government should include local representatives from tribal community while formulating developmental plans for their community, besides, demanding to provide due price to milk and milk products.
Tribal leaders Haji Mohammad Yusuf, Hussain Ali Wafa, Choudhary Sirajjudin (Kupwara), Choudhary Mohammad Shafi, Choudhary Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Yasin Poswal, Choudhary Saif-u-Din (Handwara), Mohammed Hussain Bhelsa, Choudhary Munshi Khan, Choudhary Gulzar (Kathua), Choudhary Ibrahim (Reasi), among others attended the function.