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PUA is spreaded over parts of five Districts of the State of West Bengal along the Western border, namely Birbhum, Burdwan, Bankura, Purulia and Paschim Medinipur. It is constituted of 74 depressed and backward Blocks lying in the said Districts.
The land in general is known to be acid-red lateritic uplands and some parts are exposed as ‘stony-wastes’ dotted with hills and mounds of low height. About one-fifth of the geographical area is covered by forests. Though irrigation facility is quite scanty and land is typically infertile, the major occupation of the people is agricultural labour and cultivation.
About 40% of the population belongs to scheduled tribe and scheduled-caste communities and nearly 40% of the families live below poverty level. A large number of villages are inaccessible by Pucca or Murram roads and most of them are not connected with the power network.
PUA has a total area of 21.82 lakh hectares and according to 2001 Census, it has a total population of 10037225. Thus PUA covers about one fourth of the total area of the State where one eighth of the total population live. It has 74 Blocks containing 648 GPs and 12558 inhibited villages.
PUA is seen to be much behind the State when different development parameters were considered. The concentration of Marginal Worker and BPL Population glaringly expose the poverty status of PUP area. Lower IMR parameter compare to State usually explained not by the extension of health care services but due to higher tolerance and immunity level of the larger portion of the tribal population.
Status of PUA in West Bengal
|PUA (%)||West Bengal (%)|
|Net Cropped Area||55.45||66.03|
|SC and ST||38.58||28.51|