The Scheduled Caste Development Department has recommended the Government to cancel the acquisition of 3.5795 hectares of land of nine tribal families for a private company for granite mining at Dhanyam tribal hamlet in Padavayal village of Attappady.

Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officer of Attappady P.V. Radhakrishnan, on the complaint of usurping tribal land, on Friday said that the acquisition of all their land including houses made the tribal families landless and houseless.

There was no rehabilitation scheme implemented while acquiring the land in 1991 for a paltry amount of Rs.1.5 lakh on a request made by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) on behalf of a private company, the report said.

This acquisition had violated the Kerala Restriction of Transfer by and Restoration of Lands to Scheduled Tribes Act 1999 that had made tribal land alienation null and void after 1986.

The request for the mining was made by KSIDC Executive Director on October 16, 1989 and the land was acquired and directly transferred to a private company in 1991.

Since there was no mining started in the acquired land even after 22 years of its acquisition, it is clear that the land was not taken for granite mining.

However, the private company (M/s West Coast Granite Limited, Thiruvananthapuram) has paid tax to till last month, the report said.

The ITDP conducted a detailed inquiry on the land acquisition on a complaint filed by M. Sukumaran, Convenor, Attappady Samrakshana Samithy.

The inquiry report called for cancelling the land acquisition order (1/91) issued by Palakkad Land Acquisition Special Tehsildar on February 4, 1991 and restores the land to the tribal people.

The report was sent to Director of Scheduled Caste Development Department, District Collector of Palakkad and Revenue Divisional Officer of Ottapalam on Friday.

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