Fear of eviction haunts 700 Mangalore families

Mangalore: Members of 700 families of Permude and Kuthethur villages near this port city are edgy in the wake of a notification issued by the state government for acquisition of  more than 800 acres of land around their villages.  

Much to their chagrin, leaders of BJP and Congress are keeping mum, but those of CPI(M) have decided to take up this issue during the elections to the Legislative Assembly.

On February 20, the state government issued the final notification for acquisition of 811.9314 acres, of which 680.765 acres are private land (286.98 acres in Kuthethur and 393.7850 acres in Permude), and 131.1664 acres belong to government land (93.03 acres in Kuthethur and 38.1364 acres in Permude). 

These villagers, who have stoutly opposed acquisition of land, had questioned the out-dated KIAD Act and demanded an amendment based on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act 2013 passed by the Congress-led UPA government. They felt the government could not easily acquire land as it had to follow various processes.

Last year, the state government had assured to amend the Act. Now, however, the government not only failed to amend the Act but even passed the final notification under  section 28 (4) of KIAD Act, prompting activists to take the legal route to challenge the decision of the government. 

“KIADB officials want to acquire land using KIAD Act, 1966, but they assure people about payment of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. How can both go together?. The UPA government had passed the amended Land Acquisition Act in 2013. Based on this the Congress government in the state should have brought changes in the KIAD Act. As per the 2013 Act a social impact assessment study has to be completed first. Only after that the government can go ahead. But here the social impact assessment itself has not been done and the officials have gone ahead with issuing final notification?” alleged activist Vidya Dinker.

Meanwhile, president of the state unit of DYFI, Muneer Katipalla, said: “This is definitely a major issue ahead of the election. None of the elected representative or the national parties have taken the problem of these people seriously.” 

Mr Katipalla, who will contest the Assembly polls as CPI(M) candidate from Mangaluru City (North) constituency, said: “On one hand, the authorities are keen on acquiring land (in Permude and Kuthethur), on the other, they have not initiated any steps to acquire 27 acres in Jokatte which the government had ordered for acquisition. People of Jokatte, near MRPL, are facing many problems.”


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