Agartala: The High Court of Tripura has asked central and state governments to form an experts team to assess the present condition of Karbong ethnic community of the state following a newspaper report, which highlighted that the community is on the verge of extinction.
The Karbong is a sub-tribe of the Halam community of Tripura, living in a small helmet of Atharamura hill range with only 122 people of 31 families.
According to the report, several development initiatives have been undertaken over the years including the intervention of NGOs through CSR funds of big corporates but there was not much improvement in their socio-economic conditions and to protect the community from dying out.
Taking cognizance of the media report, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Subhashis Talapatra has registered a suo-moto PIL and asked the state government to submit an affidavit on or before Nov 9 and the next hearing was fixed on Nov 12.
The Court told the Advocate General and Assistant Solicitor General to form a team of appropriate officials who shall visit the area, make an assessment of this area and needs of the community, Karbong community in particular and submit its report by way of an affidavit.
“We further direct that if any emergent steps need to be taken in that area, the State, as well as Union of India, are free to undertake all such steps that may become essentially necessary without awaiting further directions from this Court, ” the order read.
The Court further directed state-owned oil and gas exploration company – ONGC to file an affidavit indicating what steps they have undertaken as part of their CSR activities in the Karbong community. The ONGC had adopted the hamlet – Karbongpara in January 2018 to provide basic amenities including educational support, healthcare, drinking water etc as part of the company’s policy to reach out to the commonest of common people through its CSR.
The initiative, a first of its kind, is aimed at creating self-sustaining livelihood to revive the Karbong tribe as well as develop it into a Model Village. The ONGC had granted financial support to Korbongpara for providing facilities like a community centre, market shed, sanitation, drinking water and irrigation, internal road connectivity, education centres and provision of quality healthcare.