Vilasini Amma was full of hope and all smiles as she prepared to leave the crowded Priyadarsini hall on Wednesday noon. The 70-year-old was confident her application for a housing loan would eventually be cleared by the City Corporation.

The old lady who lives in a leaking hut had been running from pillar to post after her application was rejected on the grounds that the plot she owned fell short of the requirement of one cent. Past surveys had reported that her property measured less than half cent. Her fervent pleas to the authorities for a resurvey failed to evoke a response.

That was when she came to know of the Revenue Department's mass contact programme on Wednesday. On presenting her case, she was directed to file an application for resurvey of her plot. Vilasini Amma left beaming.

She was just one of the thousands who turned up at the Priyadarsini hall to get long-pending applications settled. Haimavathi, 80, an applicant for assistance under the National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), seemed to be dejected on being informed that her old ration card would have to be verified to ensure that she had not already availed herself of the scheme. She was told to come back on September 27.

Mini, a widow who ekes out a livelihood as a sweeper on the Technopark campus, had applied for aid from the NFBS to finance her children's education. She had turned up at the venue on being directed by revenue officials.

But not every applicant could leave the hall with a smile. Ammini found to her dismay that her file on the land tax remitted on the property she inherited from her father had not reached the venue.

Her application for mutation of the property had been pending for long, on the grounds that she had failed to submit tax remittance details for the last 24 years. With the Village Office maintaining that there was no record of any such request, she approached the Taluk Office from where she was directed to the mass contact programme.

As many as 4,151 of the 14,949 cases taken up at the programme on Wednesday were settled. These included 210 cases involving transfer of registry, 64 cases for compensation to victims of natural calamities, 380 applicants for assistance from NFBS, 274 cases of legal heirship, and 172 applications for assistance from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

Revenue officials said 32 new cases were also considered at the programme. Apart from the six counters set up by the Revenue Department, the Excise, Legal Metrology, Civil Supplies, and Education Departments had also set up counters at the venue to hear grievances and handle applications.