18 years on, some of Muthanga land agitators to get houses

After 18 years, a section of the tribespeople involved in the 2003 Muthanga land agitation will get houses of their own.

The work on 10 of the 109 houses has been completed in the first phase of the rehabilitation project at Vellappan Kanady, a vested forest area nearly 18 km away from nearest town of Meppady in the district.

As many as 109 families were given record of rights for one acre of land each on vested forest land under the rehabilitation project nearly two years ago. Thirty-seven members of 10 landless tribal families have been living here in makeshift huts erected on the allotted land.

With the completion of the rehabilitation project, all the families would be provided houses in a time-bound manner, K.C. Cheriyan, Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officer, Wayanad, told The Hindu. Most of the families in the settlement, belonging to the Paniya, Adiya, and Kattunayakkan tribes, were from Thirunelly and Noolpuzha grama panchayats, said Mr. Cheriyan.

The project was executed by the Tribal Resettlement and Development Mission (TRDM) and each house was constructed at a cost of ₹6 lakh, he added. Each 480-sq.-ft house, constructed by the District Nirmithi Kendra, consists of two bedrooms, a hall, a kitchen, a work area and a toilet.

Directions had been given to departments concerned to expedite measures to provide infrastructure facilities such as road, electrification, and drinking water to the residents under the project on a war footing, he said.

“It is expected that the houses can be handed over to the owners in a month,” he said. Fourteen houses would be constructed in the second phase of the project and the construction work would begin soon, he added.

Recently, T. Siddique, MLA, visited the site and set up a study room with a television set and solar panel for the 11 students in the settlement.

Though as many as 680 tribal families were involved in the Muthanga land agitation, only 289 landless families have got the record of rights for land so far.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 8:39:09 AM |

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