Saturday, October 21, 2006


Background of KBK

The KBK districts account for 19.72% population over 30.59% geographical area of the State. 89.89% people of this region still live in villages. Lower population density (152 persons / in comparison to 236 for Orissa indicates difficult living conditions and an undeveloped economy. Tribal communities dominate this region. As per 1991 Census, about 38.72% people of these districts belong to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) communities including four primitive tribal groups (PTG), i.e., Bondas, Dadai, Langia Sauras and Dangaria Kandhas. 44 CD blocks are included in Tribal Sub Plan (TSP). In addition, 16.63% population belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC) communities as per 1991 Census. Literacy rates are also far below the State as well as National averages. Female literacy is only 24.72%. Some demographic and literacy indicators are summarized in

As per the 1997 census of BPL families, about 72% families below poverty line live in this region. District-wise information about the number of BPL families as per 1992 and 1997 census are summarized in

Other socio-economic indicators including population composition and density, net area irrigated, hospital beds, and connectivity of villages (due to criss-crossed terrains) to growth centres and service centres are also far from satisfactory. According to the report of “the Committee on the Constitution of Separate Development Board in Orissa”, 96% of CD Blocks in these districts are either “very backward” or “backward”. To be specific, 49 CD Blocks of KBK districts are regarded as “very backward” and 28 CD Blocks are considered as “backward”.

The KBK districts have been historically rich in forest resources. Though the people have been using these forests very intensively and eking out their livelihood from this source, forests of this region have not received adequate investments and managerial inputs over time. Intensive use of forests for sustenance coupled with lack of insufficient investments and managerial inputs are, thus, continuously leading to forest degradation. Although one third (16,131 of the geographical area of this region is recorded as forests, only 11.3% (5,473 is actually dense forest (i.e., with crown density over 40%) as per satellite imagery data. It has been further ascertained that 9% (4,332 forest area is completely devoid of vegetal cover. Another 13.5% (6,327 forests are open having crown density more than 10% but less than 40%.

The old Koraput and Kalahandi districts and portions of Bolangir districts are mainly hilly. Severe droughts and floods also often visit this region and some areas in quick succession. Therefore, backwardness of this region is multi-faceted: (i) tribal backwardness, (ii) hill area backwardness, and (iii) backwardness due to severe natural calamities.

In the year 1988, a special programme, Area Development Approach for Poverty Termination (ADAPT), was formulated and implemented in 15 blocks in two districts of the State: 8 blocks in Kalahandi and 7 blocks in Koraput district. This was undertaken in order to provide employment round the year to the rural poor and to change agricultural strategies.

In due course, it was felt that short term strategies were not appropriate to address the multi-faceted backwardness of the region. Therefore, a Long Term Action Plan (LTAP) for the three undivided districts of KBK (Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi) was prepared in 1993 in consultation with Govt. of India. The LTAP was conceptualised for a period of seven years from 1995-96 to 2001-02 with two objectives in view: (a) drought and distress proofing, and (b) poverty alleviation and development saturation. LTAP envisaged an outlay of Rs. 4557.03 crores. However, LTAP did not take off for want of availability of sufficient funds.

In 1998, a Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) was submitted to Government of India as per their advice. The revised project was envisaged for a period of nine years from 1998-99 to 2006-07 with an outlay of Rs. 6251.06 crores.

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