Stone laid for mini civil station at Nedumkandam
Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran has said that all settlers prior to January 1, 1977, will be issued condition-free title deeds. The Ordinance passed by the Cabinet on Wednesday was to ensure that all works related to it were completed before December 31.
Addressing a press meet after laying the foundation stone for a mini civil station here on Thursday, the Minister said that title deeds without any condition would be issued to 28,883 hectares of land and about 12,000 persons in the areas acquired for the abandoned hydro-electric project would also be benefited.
The Minister said that the government took the decision to issue condition-free title deeds on September 2 and passed the Ordinance on September 8 to complete the process before the scheduled time. He said that concerted efforts from all quarters were necessary for taking the benefits to the settlers as there were legal hurdles also.
He said that the Special Rules 1993 should be amended to make the land transferrable and that the Supreme Court has taken a favourable stand in this regard. The Minister said that the Left Democratic Front government gave an affidavit before the Supreme Court to ensure the rights of farmers in these land holdings. The government is keen to provide legal protection to the farmers, he said.
The fact that 1.5 lakh title deeds have been issued since the LDF came to power endorses the pro-farmer policy of the government. The government is committed to ensuring the welfare of the farmers in the High Ranges, who had toiled braving inclement weather to provide food security to the State, he said.
The Minister said that the Kerala Land Assignment Act 1960 should be amended to make the transfer of land legally binding with retrospective effect.
He said that the shopowners in Kattappana and Nedumkandam were facing problems as they did not have proper title deeds. This creates problems in transferring and carrying out extension works, the Minister said and added that with the issuance of condition-free title deeds, they would be provided legal protection.
Land to tribals
He said that while allotting land to the landless tribals, the government would ensure that outside elements did not exploit them, leading to the alienation of their lands. It was with this object that the provision of ‘non-transferable' was added to the document. It would not affect the legal rights of the heirs for ancestral property, the Minister said.