KERALA

Title deeds to farmers settled in hill areas, says Minister

WELFARE MEASURES: Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran inaugurating the district `Pattaya Mela' in Kannur on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

`Measures to take back Government land from those possessing it illegally'

`State to go ahead with new legislation to protect paddy fields'`Intense efforts to complete distribution of 30,000 title deeds by March'

KANNUR: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government will give title deeds to all those settled in the hill areas of the State since January 1, 1977, Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran has said.

Inaugurating the title deed distribution function organised by the Revenue Department here on Saturday, the Minister said the Government was committed to fulfilling the long-cherished dream of cultivators in the hill areas to secure title deeds of the lands they had been cultivating. Efforts were already under way to assign to farmers 1,341 acre of land as the joint verification by Forest and Revenue Departments was already over, the Minister said adding that the title deeds were expected to be given to the settler-farmers in the hill areas before the first anniversary of the LDF Government.

Mr. Rajendran said strong measures would be taken to take back Government land from those who took them on lease and were now possessing illegally. Lease arrears would also be collected from them, he added. The total estimated value of the land thus under unauthorised possession was Rs.300 crore, he said.

Stating that the Government would go ahead with a new legislation to protect paddy fields, wetlands and rivers from reclamation and encroachment, Mr. Rajendran said the LDF Government was committed to providing land and house for all landless people in the State. The `pattaya melas' being organised in all the districts demonstrated the Government's commitment to weaker sections, the landless and SC-ST communities, he said.

The Minister said intense efforts were on to complete the distribution of 30,000 title deeds by March this year. "The target set by the Land Reforms Act is yet to be fulfilled An extent of 70,000 acre of excess land was yet to be taken possession of," the Minister said.

The delay was due to civil cases and obstructions caused by disputes by vested interests, he said. However, formalities were over to give 3172 acre of surplus land, he said adding that 25,000 families in the State would benefit from this. Processes were also being completed for assignment of land to all landless Adivasis in the State, he announced. As many as 1764 landless families in the district were given title deeds at the function.

K. Sudhakaran, MLA, presided over the function. MLAs Ramachandran Kadannappally, M. Prakashan and K.K. Shylaja, District panchayat president K.K. Narayanan, District Collector Ishita Roy and Municipal chairman K. Upendran were present at the function.