Days after residents of four villages in Buldhana district of Maharashtra demanded merger of these places into neighbouring MadhyaPradesh (MP) due to lack of facilities at the local level,the state government has initiated the process to build new roads there.
People residing in Bhingara, Gomal-1, Gomal-2 and Chalistapari in Jalgaon Jamod taluka of Buldhana had made the demand for merger in a letter written to the district administration last week, in which they also claimed that they have been struggling to get their rights for 75 years.
Their demand came against the backdrop of the Karnataka chief minister recently claiming, amid tension over a border dispute, that some villages in southern Maharashtra's Sangli district once wanted to be part of Karnataka because of their acute water problem.
The letter, written on December 6 by Bhingara sarpanch Mr Rajesh Mohan, said among other things, that the residents of these villages find it difficult to get the Scheduled Tribes certificate even though they are tribals.
One of the signatories of the letter and resident of Bhingara village, Mr Sardar Awase said that soon after the letter, Jalgaon Jamod MLA Mr Sanjay Kunte initiated the road construction work from Teen Kothi to Bhingara village on December 12.
The district administration has also started distributing caste certificates, he said. “This is a good step, but the caste certificates should be issued to allthe tribal residents which is a long-pending and important demand,” Mr Awase said.
According to him, the tribal-dominated villages in neighbouring MP, which is just 1.5 km from their village, have all basic facilities like electricity and the residents there were given land pattas (ownership document) by the government there. “However, we are still struggling for electricity and are dependent on solar-powered equipment,” he said.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )