Nearly 132 years after the British conducted a land survey in Abujhmar of Chattisgarh state —a 2,400-km inaccessible tribal belt bordering Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which is currently a Naxalite hotbed — the Raman Singh government has decided to do an aerial survey of the region.
Part of Bastar district, Abujhmar is inhabited by the primitive Maria tribe. The government has no records about them or the region, including land ownership details. The proposed survey will not only streamline revenue records but also help the government map the Naxalite terrain.
The Chhattisgarh government has decided to approach the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) for the aerial survey. The area is extremely backward and tribals here have only recently begun tilling their land and sending their children to schools run by NGOs and missionaries. ‘‘The survey, which will be completed in 12 to 14 months, will cost Rs 5.5 crore, half of which will be shared by the Centre. A week ago, we received financial approval from the Centre, alongwith the first installment of Rs 50 lakh,’’ said Revenue Secretary R.C. Sinha.