Land grab by church: report submitted to government

Land sold to fishermen families as small parcels

Published - February 04, 2020 12:49 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The District Collector has submitted a report to the State government regarding the alleged encroachment on government puramboke land by a Latin Catholic church at Adimalathura. The Amalolbhava Matha Church at Adimalathura has been accused of encroaching upon acres of puramboke land and selling it as smaller land parcels to fishworker families for construction of houses.

According to the Neyyattinkara tahasildar, the encroachment was first reported around a year ago. “A joint inspection of the various departments was conducted after that. The Revenue Commissioner submitted a report based on this. The Collector has submitted this to the government. Further action against the encroachments will be taken as per instructions from the government,” the tahasildar said.

Stop memo issued

The Kottukal village office had a few months ago served a stop memo on the construction activities on the encroached land. In a meeting convened to discuss the encroachment, the District Collector had taken a serious view of the encroachment. The Fisheries Joint Registrar had informed that around 167 houses were nearing completion on the plots. The church had divided the land into plots of 3 to 5 cents and sold to the fishermen families.

Adimalathura is an area which witnesses sea erosion annually, with the waves coming inside even the houses located away from the coast. The land on which houses are being constructed now is much nearer to the sea.

Project scuttled

According to T. Peter, president of the Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF), the local church had scuttled a housing project of the Fisheries Department.

“Areas like Adimalathura gained land at the coast years ago due to the construction of fishing harbour at Vizhinjam, while there was erosion on the other side. This is puramboke land which belongs to the government. Encroaching upon this land and then selling it to coastal families are illegal. The government should take stringent action against this,” he said.

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