Kerala Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bushan has said that the tribal people of Attappady Hills who had alienated 10,796.16 acres of land, as per a survey by Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), are now entitled for the restoration of only 530 hectares of land after passing the Tribal Land Amendment Act of 1996 that had amended the original Act of 1975.
Addressing a press conference after a review meeting of officials on the vexed tribal land issue in Attappady the Chief Secretary has said here on Saturday that as per the Act brought in 1996 amending the original Kerala Scheduled Tribes (Restriction on Transfer of Lands and Restoration of Alienated Lands) Act 1975 the tribal people are entitled for restoration of land alienated after 1986 that too if the extent is more than two hectares.
He said that after passing the amendment in 1996 there are only 530 hectares of tribal land in Attappady that are to be restored to the tribal people as per official records.
Out of the 250 cases of restoration claims the Government had taken decision in 158 cases and restored 90 acres of land. In the remaining cases the Ottapalam Revenue Division Officer was directed to take action on a time bound manner, Mr. Bharat Bhushan said.
He said that to identify the tribal land in Attappady a special survey team will be deputed soon.
When asked about the return of tribal land encroached by the wind mill companies the Chief Secretary said that a Vigilance inquiry was conducted on the matter and action will be taken to evict the encroachment.
The Chief Secretary has said that Court orders on the restoration of alienated tribal land will be implemented. The Ottapalam RDO was directed to take steps on the implementation of Court orders restoring alienated tribal land, he said.
He said that the Government will provide land from the Kottathara Goat Farm for the Government College now functioning in a temporary building in Agali.
He said that only seven tribal students are given admission in a batch of 40 students in this College. So 10 more seats will be sanctioned in each batch to provide admission to more tribal students.
He said that the Government had received many complaints about the contract given to construct houses for tribal people in Attappady.
The Assistant Collector was directed to examine the houses constructed and give a report to the government about the quality of construction and other related issues, the Chief Secretary said.