Tribal land: one-year target set for resettlement

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM NOV. 10 . The Tribal Resettlement and Development Mission has prepared a calendar for redistribution of land to the landless tribals utilising the land available with various departments during the next one year.

According to a status paper prepared by the Tribal Resettlement and Development Mission, land belonging to the Plantation Corporation of Kerala, Cheemeni Estate in Kasaragod, to the total extent of 37,095 acres would be distributed.

The paper, approved by the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, says that the Revenue Department has issued orders transferring the land to the District Collector of Kasaragod and the Agriculture Department has been asked to issue orders on the VRS and other compensation to the staff of the corporation in lieu of the transfer.

In Idukki, 1,638.20 acres of revenue land in Chinnakkanal village and KDH village would be available for distribution. In Wayanad district, 1,000 acres from the Karapuzha Irrigation Project would be made available. A committee has been constituted to check whether more land could be found from the project for distribution. In Palakkad, 312 acres of land from Attapady Valley Irrigation Project would be distributed.

The status paper said that the distribution of the record of right for the land in Sugandhagiri and Pookode projects in Wayanad district to the extent of 5,018 acres would be undertaken.

It said that it had been decided at a meeting convened by the Forest Minister to set up a committee under the District Collector to oversee the redistribution of land in these two project areas. The representatives of the Tribal Mission, Scheduled Tribes Development Department, the Divisional Forest Officer, Deputy Director of Survey and the Managing Director of the project would be members.

The committee would monitor the progress in redistribution and suggest solutions to any problems.

The status paper says that the Animal Husbandry Department has concurred to the transfer of 31.96 acres in the Jersey Farm Extension Centre, Chettachal in Thiruvananthapuram district and the State Farming Corporation has expressed its willingness to cancel the lease of 100 acres of land of the Mannam Sugar Mills in Pathanamthitta. The transfer of Aralam farm to the State Government is still under consideration.

The paper noted that the value of land belonging to the farm was fixed at Rs. 106.18 crores for 3,082 hectares available. The acquisition cost in 1971 was Rs. 1.63 crores, the paper noted. The tentative land value was fixed on the basis of the evaluation done by the Kannur District Collector, the paper said and added that half the number of landless tribals in Wayanad and Kannur districts could be rehabilitated if this land is made available.

The current process of distributing land is based on the decision to give away revenue land and land without any legal problems available with various departments and State-owned corporations. The redistribution process was resumed on September 20 and as per the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-committee, 1,740.20 acres of land was distributed benefiting 810 tribal families during September-October, the paper says.

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