Purchase of private land for rehabilitation proposed

A landslip caused by the floods at Kalasa in Mudigere taluk.

A landslip caused by the floods at Kalasa in Mudigere taluk.  

Govt. land is not available as the majority of land is either reserved or deemed forest

The Chikkamagaluru district administration has sent a proposal to the State government to purchase private land to rehabilitate the flood-hit people in Mudigere taluk due to non-availability of government land.

A majority of the land here is either reserved forest or deemed forest.

Earlier, the district administration had identified around 300 acres of land to be distributed among those who had suffered in the floods. As the land is under the custody of the Forest Department, the administration could not proceed. “We have no other way but to purchase private land and allot the same. However, the costs are high. The State government will decide on this,” said Kumara, Additional Deputy Commissioner.

Many parts of the district witnessed damage and devastation during the rains in August 2019. Hundreds of people stayed in rehabilitation centres for months. The State government identified 464 families that had lost homes in the floods. They all got the first instalment of ₹1 lakh to build the houses. “Among those who got the first instalment, only 110 have completed the foundation and received the second instalment of another ₹1 lakh. Many have not yet begun construction,” said the officer.

Forest cover has been the problem with many developments works in the district. Around 38.6% of the total geographical area in the district, that is 3.49 lakh ha, is forest cover. Besides that, there is a vast deemed forest area of 1.24 lakh hectares, including 52,902 ha for deemed forest tag.

The construction of Kendriya Vidyalaya had been delayed in Chikkamagaluru town following objections from the Forest Department. The 10-acre land was identified for the school, but the construction did not begin though the funds were available. Following this, the administration had to identify an alternative land at Kadrimidri.

Residents of Sringeri, on Friday, took out a protest under the leadership of MLA T.D. Raje Gowda alleging that the Forest Department was obstructing the rehabilitation of people within the Kudremukh National Park area. Hundreds of applications seeking sites for houses and grant of land have been pending.

Residents of Haleganguru in Tarikere taluk alleged that officers were pressurizing them to leave the place they had been staying in for the last 50 years. The objections raised by the Forest Department about the encroachment of forest area are genuine, says the administration. “They are following the rules. The issue of the deemed forest is in the Supreme Court. The officers cannot make their own decisions and must follow the law,” said Mr. Kumara.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:25:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/purchase-of-private-land-for-rehabilitation-proposed/article30837801.ece

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