The Autonomous District Council (ADC) under the administration of ‘Tipra Motha’ has voiced its discontent regarding the role of the tribal welfare department of the state. The ADC accuses the department of failing to present and obtain the governor’s approval for ten bills passed by the council, as well as sixteen customary laws of various tribal communities and clans over the years. In a memorandum addressed to the governor through his office, the ADC authority, represented by nine senior ADC functionaries, including the Chief Executive Member, Executive Members, members of the district council, and MLAs, highlighted the continued deprivation of funds and the state government’s neglectful treatment, which has led to the tribal people feeling like second-class citizens.
The memorandum emphasized that out of the allocated fund of Rs 619.25 crore for the ADC by the state government for the 2022-2023 financial year, Rs 126.59 crore is yet to be released. This delay has resulted in the late payment of salaries and other committed expenditures, causing deep resentment among employees and workers.
Furthermore, for the current financial year (2023-2024), only Rs 4.24 crore has been released so far for development work, which is woefully insufficient. Additionally, despite a court directive, the village council elections, initially scheduled for March 2021, have not been conducted. This failure has hindered development work at the grassroots village level within ADC areas.
The memorandum noted, “Today, when the esteemed office of the President of India is held by Smt. Draupadi Murmuji, who herself is a proud tribal and a living example of grit, courage, and determination, we firmly believe that our concerns shall be duly addressed by you and others in authority.” It appealed to the governor, drawing upon his vast experience in public life, to ensure justice for the indigenous people of the state by exercising his constitutional office and authority. The ADC requested the governor to direct the state government to provide the necessary funds to the ADC so that development projects for the impoverished tribal communities can proceed unhindered.
The ADC’s dissatisfaction stems from the delayed release of allocated funds, which has resulted in financial difficulties and the inability to fulfill commitments. This situation has led to a sense of marginalization among the tribal population, who feel neglected and treated unfairly by the state government. The ADC plays a crucial role in the development and welfare of the tribal communities within its jurisdiction, and the timely provision of funds is essential for effective implementation of various programs and initiatives.
Furthermore, the non-conduct of village council elections despite the court’s directive has hindered the progress of grassroots development. Local governance and community participation are vital for addressing the specific needs and aspirations of the tribal communities. By holding the elections, the ADC can ensure the active involvement of the people in decision-making processes and the successful implementation of development projects.
The memorandum’s mention of Smt. Draupadi Murmuji, the President of India and a proud tribal herself, serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing the concerns raised by the ADC. The tribal population looks to their leaders and authorities to protect their rights and promote their development, drawing inspiration from accomplished individuals who have overcome challenges and achieved success.
The ADC’s memorandum to the governor highlights the grievances of the tribal communities in Tripura. It emphasizes the delayed release of funds, the non-implementation of laws, and the postponement of village council elections. The ADC seeks the governor’s intervention to ensure justice and equitable development for the indigenous people of the state. It is hoped that the governor and other authorities will address these concerns promptly, facilitating the necessary funds for the ADC and enabling the progress of development projects for the upliftment of tribal communities in Tripura.