Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran said here on Tuesday that civil and criminal proceedings would be initiated against encroachers of the Kannan Devan Hills (KDH) and officials who aided them by altering revenue records.

The Minister told presspersons that the encroachers on government land at Mankulam village, originally kept for distribution to weaker sections, would be evicted. Forest lands in both the KDH village and Mankulam village would be declared as reserve forests.

Mr. Rajendran announced that shola and other types of forests interspersed among the Tata Tea estates would be taken over besides any land held by the company in excess of the Land Board Award (lease). Besides, lease rent on a par with that collected from public sector companies would be collected from the tea company.

Approval

The Minister said the Government had approved these and other recommendations of the P. C. Sanalkumar Committee which inquired into the encroachments and bogus title-deeds in the two villages. Orders in this regard were issued on February 17. Legislative and other measures would be required to give effect to the recommendations.

He said that two task forces were being formed to take action against encroachers in a time-bound basis as per the recommendations of the Committee.

Special officer

A special officer would be appointed to verify documents and correct irregularities in the village registers. All unauthorised certificates issued about Government land would be cancelled.

The Cabinet had decided that new power and drinking water connections would be given in Idukki district only after submitting a no-objection certificate from the Revenue Department. He said the Government had cancelled leases in Kadalundi and Thrissur for breach of lease conditions.

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