Agartala: The newly formed Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) has decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 3,000 each to all the ‘jhumia’ families to support their livelihood.

‘Jhumias’ are tribals who practise shifting or jhum cultivation. Under this form of cultivation, also called ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, hill slopes are cleared of trees and other vegetation and then the fields are burned to sow several crops like paddy, chillies, maize and vegetables. In the Northeast states, agriculture is primarily based on jhum cultivation.

Deputy chief executive member Animesh Debbarma, during the ongoing session of the council, said that TTAADC has a total of 5,983 jhumia families and the council would extend all possible help towards them. Animesh said this in response to a question raised by chief whip Rabindra Debbarma.

Animesh said that there are plans to provide financial assistance to these jhumia families.

“As per the plan, Rs 1,000 will be given for cutting of jungles, Rs 1,000 for sowing seeds and Rs 1,000 for jhum harvesting, totalling Rs 3,000. The state government’s tribal welfare department has been informed to pay for the same,” Animesh added.

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Meanwhile, chief executive member Purna Chandra Jamatia said that the ADC administration wants to recruit its own police.

Replying to a written question from member Dhirendra Debbarma, he said the ADC would appoint its own police if funds were received from the state government.

In this regard, Radhacharan Debbarma, the former chief executive member of the ADC, said that the ADC administration has the authority to appoint its own police. However, the police are not armed, they will have batons. He said the ADC administration had passed such a bill in 1997. However, the money was not enough, so the police could not be recruited.

The chief executive member also said the TTAADC had given its opinion as per the central government’s proposal on more powers. The ADC has sent 15 proposals to the Central Government in this regard.

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