13 years on, dark day still haunts evictees at Moolampilly

Families evicted from Moolampilly for the ICTT project staging a protest.

Families evicted from Moolampilly for the ICTT project staging a protest.  

Only six of the evicted families at Moolampilly have been rehabilitated as per 2008 package

Thursday will mark the 13th anniversary of the Moolampilly eviction.

It was on February 6, 2008, that the first batch of 10 families were forcibly evicted from their homes at Moolampilly for the rail and road connectivity of the International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam (ICTT). The day before, another 12 families had to step out of their homes.

Shortly thereafter, the affected families under the aegis of Moolampilly Coordination Committee, staged a popular protest at Menaka Junction.

It was called off on March 19 that year after the then government notified the Moolampilly rehabilitation package.

That hope proved short-lived as what ensued was a long-drawn-out protest to get that package implemented, including the sit-ins and hunger strikes staged on festive occasions like Onam and Christmas.

“Only six out of the forcibly evicted families have been properly rehabilitated as per the package whereas the rest had to either find refuge in what little of the plot was left after the eviction or arrange temporary shelters,” said Francis Kalathungal, general convener of the Moolampilly Coordination Committee.

Altogether, 316 families were evicted for the rail-road connectivity of the ICTT from Mulavukad, Kadamakkudy, Chernalloor, Eloor, Kadungalloor, and Edappally North and South villages. So far, 46 houses have been built in the rehabilitation plots spread over seven locations.

Permission have been denied to many allotted plots in Mulavukad and Kadamakkudy villages on account of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms. Plots allotted at two locations at Thuthiyoor were found unfit for construction of houses as they were filled-up land while sketches fixing the boundaries of the plots had also not been provided, said Mr. Kalathungal.

So far, 29 persons have died before rehabilitation. Mr. Kalathungal said that the government had neither returned the 12 per income tax levied on the compensation nor fulfilled the promise of a job to a member each from the evicted families.

Also, the monthly allocation of ₹5,000 towards rent till the rehabilitation had not been paid since 2013.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 4:24:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/13-years-on-dark-day-still-haunts-evictees-at-moolampilly/article30748577.ece

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