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A sigh of relief after decades-long fight

After two decades of struggle, residents of Rameswaram colony in Fort Kochi received title deeds for their land at the Chief Minister’s mass contact programme held at Civil Station, Kakkanad, on Friday.

Published: 26th October 2013 08:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2013 08:28 AM   |  A+A-

After two decades of struggle, residents of Rameswaram colony in Fort Kochi received title deeds for their land at the Chief Minister’s mass contact programme held at Civil Station, Kakkanad, on Friday.

The decision was taken after the Chief Minister came to know about the issue during the JSP screening meeting. A meeting was convened soon to take the decision which was later approved by the Cabinet.These people had been evicted from their homes to set up INS Dronacharya of the Indian Navy. They were again shifted to Rameswaram colony. In 1985, the Kerala Housing Board built houses for them but it was crammed with people.

The situation deteriorated during heavy rains. To avoid water-logging, they used to go to their relatives’ houses during heavy downpours.

As a majority of them were daily wage earners, they could not pay back the amount demanded by the Kerala Housing Board. They could not do on the land as did not have its title deeds. Out of the total 252 families that were affected, 38 belong to Chaklia caste from Tamil Nadu. Dominic Presentation MLA made special efforts to forward their cause.

A 12-member team from Kochi taluk had visited the site and submitted a report to the District Collector which initiated procedures to grant them the title deeds. Soon, the cabinet gave its nod. As a token, some of them were given title deeds at the Chief Minister’s mass contact programme.

Rajamma Thankappan, P R Sudhan and Pappachan PA were some of the beneficiaries. The rest will get the title deeds in a function at Rameswaram colony later.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he was immensely happy to settle an issue which was prevalent for the past 30 years. The Kerala Housing Board has waived off the amount which had to be paid by the people and the residents can now pay the Corporation’s share without any interest.



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