Sadhu Jana Vimochana Samyukta Vedi (SJVSV) Samiti president Laha Gopalan says the Vedi workers who had encroached the Kumbazha Estate are ready to vacate, if the Government allots land suitable for farming in any part of the State to at least 2000 landless families at Chengara.
He further demanded cancellation of the list of landless families at Chengara prepared by the Revenue team in a haste and called for a “fresh, fool-proof survey’’ with out any further delay.
Meanwhile, SJVSV workers have planted as many as one lakh banana saplings in the encroached rubber plantations of Harrisson Malayalam Limited (HML) at Chengara near Konni, envisaging a “lucrative harvest’’ during the next Sabarimala pilgrim season in November-December, according to Mr. Gopalan.
Talking to The Hindu here on Monday, Mr. Gopalan said the banana saplings have been brought from Tamil Nadu with the help of certain agents for planting them. SJVSV has allotted the saplings to each encroacher family for planting it in the land surrounding their huts, said Mr. Gopalan.
He said Vedi workers have also started growing tapioca, yam and different kinds of vegetables at the occupied land to eke out a living.
The Vedi leader has alleged “gross anomalies’’ in the survey conducted by the Revenue department for identifying landless people who are eligible for allotment of land among the encroachers at Chengara.
Though the Revenue survey team has identified 1738 families in Chengara, they have deemed only 1495 among them as eligible for allotment of land. The Government had also allotted land in 10 districts for all the 1495 families at Chengara through a draw of lots held at the collectorate conference hall here a month ago.
Mr. Gopalan said the identification of landless families by the Revenue team was a “humbug aimed at misleading the general public and diverting public attention from the real issue.’’
He said the Vedi workers have encroached upon HML’s Kumbazha Estate on August 5, 2007, seeking land for farming to eke out a living.
Mr. Gopalan claimed that a total of 7252 families at Chengara have been registered at the Vedi office at the occupied land and the Vedi has duly issued photo identity cards to all of them.
However, many people had left the occupied land following the blockade launched by plantation workers under the aegis of Joint Trade Union Action Council a year ago and over 2000 families have been occupying the Kumbazha Estate since August, 2007.