The State government is sitting over a proposal to allot an extent of 3626 acres of land to 1330 landless tribal families in the District mainly in Attappady since January 2002.
The District Collector had sent the proposal to the State government on January 19, 2002 to allot 3626 acres of land from the 4361.3 acres available with the Government to landless tribes and the tribes whose land was alienated.
Despite the repeated assertion by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) that all tribes will be given land before the expiry of the term of this Government no decision is taken on this major proposal that could solve the tribal land alienation issue to a great extent in the District.
The tribal hamlet heads (Ooru Mooppans) on a number of times in their Ooru Sabha demanded the government to implement this proposal pending for the last eight years. The tribal head Kakki Mooppan alleged that the Government has no political will to give land to the landless tribes.
Even the land allotted to them earlier on two three occasions did not come to their possession in Attappady. “Some tribes are having three ‘pattayams’ issued by successive governments with no trace of land”, said Natta Mooppan.
For example about 500 tribal families were given “pattayams’ (title deeds) at Melthottam in Sholayur village or 1025 acres of land by then Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar at a mega function in Agali, Attappady, presided over by then Revenue Minister K.E. Ismail on July 9, 1999.
The tribals were allotted this land in lieu of 10160.19 acres of land alienated in Attappady between 1960 and 1977. But this land was notified as vested forest and took over by the Forest Department as forest.
The tribes did not get any land in lieu of this Melthottam land and they are running from pillar to post with their pattayams pleading for the possession of land. The District administration received 2432 petitions from tribal for land. In this 955 cases were decided in their favour for an extent of 1633 cases. This included 381 acres of land that are to be restored to the tribes from the others who are holding this land above the permitted ceiling now.
The District Collector’s proposal also said that tribes were given an area of 259.67 acres in 114 cases. They are to be given 1471.47 acres in 609 cases in which the tribes hold below 2 hectors of land.
As per the tribal land act a tribal family is entitled to get a minimum 5 acres of land.
As per the government survey conducted in 1999 there were 614 landless tribes and 403 of them held less than one acre in Attappady. But the latest finding shows that there are 1328 landless tribes in Attappay.