Talks soon to resolve Chengara agitation

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K.P. Rajendran says the redistribution of land to landless tribals will be over before December 31.
K.P. Rajendran says the redistribution of land to landless tribals will be over before December 31.

Special Correspondent

Talks to be held on the basis of a package

Oommen Chandy’s suggestions incorporated

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government will soon invite the leaders of the Chengara land agitation for talks as part of its attempt to resolve the two year-old stir. The talks will be held on the basis of a package the government has formulated in consultation with Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy.

Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran made this statement in the Assembly while replying to a debate on the final stages of the Kerala Temporary Stay of Eviction Proceedings Bill, 2009.

The Minister said the government proposed to complete redistribution of land to landless tribals before December 31. The government had worked out a formula for settling the Chengara stir. Mr. Chandy’s suggestions had also been incorporated, prior to the Cabinet discussion on this. The talks would be held at an earliest date, he said.

The Bill seeks to temporarily stay eviction of people who have illegally occupied government excess land in Kozhikode. The Bill, which was later passed by the House, seeks to provide the temporary stay for four more years and was intended to replace an ordinance issued in April.

The State Assembly referred to the Subject Committee the Kerala Forest (Vesting and Management of Ecologically Fragile Lands) Amendment Bill. The Bill seeks to provide relief to small farmers whose land adjacent to forests has been declared as ecologically fragile under an Act passed in 2003. The amendment Bill has two new sections that will provide an opportunity for the redressal of disputes in respect of land of an extent of not more than five acres and for the constitution of the Ecologically Fragile Land Claim Dispute Redressal Committee.

The Kerala Toddy Workers Welfare Fund (Amendment) Bill was also referred to the Subject Committee. The Bill seeks to raise the employer contribution to the welfare fund from eight to 10 per cent.

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