Staff Reporter

Stalemate in land acquisition process

Officials yet to receive government order regarding rehabilitation package

More than Rs.2 crore required for paying rent of those evicted for the projects

KOCHI: Stalemate in the land acquisition process has hit the rail and road connectivity projects of the proposed Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT).

The acquisition process lost steam ever since the forceful eviction of the residents of Moolamppilly Island early last month led to an uproar.

Documentation process

Apart from the documentation of the land, of which the owners had already given the consent letters, nothing much is happening on the land acquisition front.

Revenue officials attribute this to the uncertainty over the implementation of the rehabilitation package declared by the government for the displaced.

The district revenue authorities are yet to receive the government order regarding the package.

As per the package, more than Rs.2 crore will be required for paying rent of all the families losing houses in the land acquisition process.

However, officials lament that a clear picture as to who will contribute the amount required for implementing the package is yet to evolve. As a result, the acquisition process remains in limbo.

Any progress can be expected only after the air is cleared about the implementation of the package, they said.

According to an estimate submitted to the government by the District Collector, Rs.85.80 lakh will be required for paying the rent of 143 families to be displaced for rail connectivity, whereas Rs.1.9 crore will be required for paying the rent of 183 families who will lose houses for the highway connectivity.

Tsunami rehabilitation

As part of hastening the Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme (TRP), 15,000 tsunami victims in the district below poverty line section will be brought under the net of the Tsunami Jan Bima Yojna, a health insurance scheme for tsunami victims, by March 25.

About 35,000 beneficiaries had been identified under the scheme. Of this, 12,500 beneficiaries had already been covered under the scheme.

The renewed thrust in expanding the coverage comes in the wake of the criticism aired by Nivedita P. Haran, Revenue Principal Secretary, during a review meeting of the TRP projects held at the collectorate on February 29.

Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajasekharan launched the scheme in August 25 last year. The scheme is being implemented jointly by the Kerala government, Revenue Department, Tsunami Rehabilitation Project Cell and United India Insurance Company Limited.

Collector’s directive

The Collector directed the TRP cell to collect details of the remaining 7,500 beneficiaries through the ration shops concerned without delay.

The TRP cell is expected to furnish the details by March 27. Following this, immediate steps will be taken to extend the benefits to them too.