District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar in his report on the tribal land scam in Attappady has asked the government to take back the surplus land held by a windmill company and 29 other persons who had sold the land to it on charges of violating the Kerala Land Reforms (KLR) Act.
The Collector said as per the KLR Act, an individual can hold only 7.5 acres of land and a company, 15 acres. More land can be held by a company depending on the number of Directors, with the special permission of the government
The 52 land documents examined in Kottathara village of Attappady in the wake of allegations of windmill companies appropriating tribal land showed that the company and 29 individuals who had sold the land to them had violated the KLR Act as they held more land than the permitted extent.
The Collector has also asked the government to constitute a joint high-power committee consisting of officials of the Revenue, Registration, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Welfare, Forest, Power and Local Self-Government Departments to examine the land records in all the six village offices of Attappady hills. Only the land records of Kottathara village have been examined. Windmills have been set up in Agali and Sholayur villages too. There too, large areas of tribal land may have been appropriated by non-tribes and windmill companies, the report said.
The Collector said the perusal of documents in Survey No.1275 of Kottathara village had revealed that 42.25 acres of forest land had also been appropriated.
The Collector has recommended action against the Sub-Registrar of Agali, officials of Kottathara Village and the Attappady Hill Area Development Society (AHADS).
The Forestry section officials of AHADS bought land in their name and their relatives at low prices and sold it to the windmill companies, the report said.
The report said that 22.19 acres of land confiscated by a cooperative bank for non-payment of Rs.14.83 lakh by a government contractor after initiating proceedings under Revenue Recovery (RR) was bought by the windmill company to set up windmills, sub-station and electric posts. It was found that this included tribal land.
The report said the company had denied that it had bought any tribal land in Attappady. The company officials said they had bought land from non-tribes only, the report said.
Keywords: tribal land scam