Saturday, October 21, 2006
The KBK districts account for 19.72% population over 30.59% geographical
area of the State. Tribal communities (38.72%) dominate this region.
Several socio-economic indicators highlight the backwardness of this region.
This region is one of the poorest regions in the country. As per an estimate (based on 1999-2000 NSS data), 87.14% people in Southern Orissa are below poverty line (BPL).
The literacy rate at 36.58% is much lower than the State average of 63.61%. The female literacy rate 24.72% also compares unfavourably with the State average of 50.97%
The population suffers from high morbidity on account of under-nutrition as well as endemic malaria and other localized diseases.
Road connectivity is a major constraint in the region. Missing links pose
significant challenges to the people to access market places, educational
institutions and health services.
Rainfall is generally erratic and unevenly distributed. Irrigation facilities (both
surface and lift) are inadequate. Thus, the region often experiences problems
of moisture stress.
At present all the eight KBK districts are ecologically disturbed. More than
50% of forests of these districts is degraded. This aggravates the problem of
poverty in the region.
Problems of soil erosion and land degradation are common. Water retention
capacity of soils is generally poor. These factors, among others, significantly
contribute to low land productivity.
Per hectare yield of rice in the KBK district is substantially low.
Employment opportunities in the region are limited. Agriculture, which is the
major economic activity, does not generate adequate avenues of employment
for the rural poor. As a result, many men and women go out to urban areas
both inside and outside the State in search of employment. This leaves the old
and infirm in the villages.