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Local issues to the fore at ‘Jail bharo' campaign taken up by CPI(M)

Staff Reporter

‘Alleviate condition of those attached to salt production and cashew orchards'


State urged to take up measures to alleviate condition of people involved in salt production

Lease cashew orchards on government land to landless, says CPI(M)


BERHAMPUR: Local issues related to salt farmers, labourers attached to the profession, and people depending on cashew orchards came to the fore front on Friday during the second day of ‘jail bharo' movement taken up by the CPI(M) in Ganjam, the home district of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

After similar agitation in Bhanjanagar on Thursday, the next venue of ‘jail bharo' agitation of the party was district headquarters Chatrapur. Around 1000 CPI (M) activists, including women led by Zilla Parishad member Harekrushna Reddy, and other local leaders like Biswanath Pradhan, Dilip Chhotray took out a rally at Chatrapur.

They held a public meeting which was also addressed by State secretariat member of the party Ali Kishore Patnaik. Although all protestors demanded to be arrested police took 64 persons, including 13 women, into custody, who were later sent to Chatrapur jail.

Apart from protesting against the anti-poor and anti-people policies of State and Central governments, the protestors also demanded State government to take up measures to alleviate condition of people attached to salt production and cashew orchards on Ganjam coast.

They demanded the State government to stop providing lease of salt production beds near Humma to private parties. They wanted these salt beds to be leased out to the salt workers instead.

Landless ryots involved in salt production near Humma in Chatrapur sub-division of Ganjam district are waiting for the day when the private leases of salt beds would expire and they may get a chance to own salt beds on lease.

According to sources around 700 acres of salt bed is now under private lease.

Objection

There were a number of salt workers among the CPI (M) protestors at Chatrapur. They objected to the long term lease of salt beds to private parties which at times is for around 90 years. Major salt production on Orissa coast happens near Humma in Ganjam district.

Here around 730 acres of salt bed is under the Humma Binchanapalli Salt Production and Sales Cooperative society (HBSPSCS), which was formed in 1942.

The rest of the salt beds are alleged to be under private lease of persons who operate from outside through agents.

Cashew orchards

The CPI (M) activists also demanded cashew orchards on government land to be leased out to the landless rather than they being handed over to moneyed agents. They alleged that lease of cashew orchards is usually handed over to unscrupulous elements with criminal background which leads to law and order problem during cashew plucking season.

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