Podu land issue in TelanganaDate: 29 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
To combat desertification, the Telangana government has planned to move landless and non-tribal farmers from within the forest areas to the peripheral.
Telangana is experiencing massive deforestation and loss of green cover. Being a drought-prone state, keeping area under forests is a necessity.
The government will be taking all measures to ensure that forest land is not encroached upon. It will ensure that rights of traditional forest dwellers will be protected.
The podu issue
Podu is a traditional practice of shifting cultivation. The government is concerned about non-tribals indulged in this practice.
In this form of cultivation, encroachers clear a forest land; grow crops on it and later move on to another land parcel. This has resulted in degradation of vast forested areas.
The government is now planning to shift all such individuals to the peripheral areas outside forests by allotting lands to them for cultivation.
Implications for tribals
The move by the government will not affect traditional tribals indulged in the practice. It will impact only illegal encroachers.
The government has already given land ownership rights to tribals. More than 3 lakh acres of land has already been given to them.
Impact on non-tribal farmers
Non-tribal farmers can apply to the government for getting land outside the forests. Along with land ownership certificates, they will be given power supply facility, water, and Rythu Bandhu benefits.
The government will conduct a survey to identify all such land areas under illegal encroachment.
Once the encroaching farmers are shifted out, forest protection committees will be set up by the government to monitor forests.
Shifting cultivation in India
It is known by different names in different regions. 'Bewar' or 'Dahiya' in Madhya Pradesh, 'Podu' or 'Penda' in Andhra Pradesh, 'Pama Dabi' or 'Koman' or Bringa' in Odisha, 'Khil' in the Himalayan belt, 'Kumari' in Western Ghats, 'Valre' or 'Waltre' in South-eastern Rajasthan, 'Kuruwa' in Jharkhand, and 'Jhumming' in North-east India.