India has about 55.27 million hectares (m ha) of wasteland. These are not suitable for any purpose and are exposed to the vagaries of nature like weathering, gully erosion, etc. The Department of Land Resources of the Ministry of Rural Development has been implementing three area development programmes since 1995, viz.

Unimpressed by the progress made under the well-known KBK assistance plan, where over Rs 1,600 crore has been spent over the last decade, a concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Planning Commission to immediately carry out a fresh time-bound re-evaluation of the programme with special focus on the state of poverty and hunger.

Phytosociological study of the tree community was carried out in tropical dry deciduous forest of Gandhamardan hill ranges belonging to Eastern Ghats at Harishankar of Bolangir district, Orissa. Twenty five quadrates of 20x20m size were laid in the 100 ha protected forest of Harishankar complex along GPS locations covering its whole geography.

The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) here, in association with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, and other organisations, have launched an initiative to end chronic hunger in the Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) regions of Orissa by 2015.

Akshaya Kumar Sahoo

Jhintu Bariha and his family members were victims of chronic hunger. A migrant labourer, illiterate Jhintu never availed of the social security measures -- either job at the door step or government supplied food -- until he lost two of his three children.

This essay contends that the economic liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) model of development in India is virtually depriving the tribal people and other agriculture dependent poor people of their traditional means of sustainable livelihood by promoting the unregulated growth of mineral-based industries in the tribal regions of India.

A careful analysis of the computed Agricultural Development Indices for different districts of Orissa reveals that the four coastal districts (Balasore, Cuttack, Puri and Ganjam) and two districts of central table land area (Sambalpur and Bolangir) are agriculturally more advanced than other districts in the three reference years over three decades (1980-81, 1998-99).

The Lower Suktel Irrigation Project, which commenced in late 1990s, aims to provide irrigation and potable water to the drought prone district Bolangir. It will fully submerge 16 villages and 10 villages partially, affecting 4160 families including 1222 families belonging to the scheduled tribes.

Despite a ban, Bt cotton cultivation is widespread in Orissa the recent death of 93 goats after grazing near a cotton field in Bolangir, a tribal-dominated district in Orissa, has put the authorities on alert. The field in Kuthurla village, Khaprakhol block, was reportedly under Bt cotton cultivation. The state government discourages cultivation of Bt cotton as a matter of policy.

It is not possible to realise the massive potential of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act if we deploy the same ossified structure of implementation that has deeply institutionalised corruption, inefficiency and non-accountability into the very fabric of Indian democracy.