THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission is hoping to be lucky the third time. Space crunch and unhygienic conditions at its present HQ at Anayara is prompting the Commission to hunt for a bigger and better office; preferably closer to the Secretariat.
The State Cabinet had recently given in-principle approval to amend the Kerala State Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission Act so that the Commission can handle cases up to October 31, 2011. This means, the Commission can expect an inflow of four lakh more cases.
‘’The present office at the World Market, Anayara, is already congested. According to our earlier mandate, we were handling cases prior to 2007. Those complaints numbered 4.10 lakh, of which 3.25 lakh were settled. We will need more space,’’ Commission chairman Justice K A Abdul Gafoor said.
The Government is expected to float an ordinance enabling an amendment to the Debt Relief Commission Act so that the Commission can handle more cases. Also, the term of the present Commission ends in March.
However, sources at the Commission pointed to two more reasons why the Commission prefers to move out of Anayara: Unhygienic conditions - ‘’even the water is bad,’’ sources said - and the fact that the offices are too far away from the city, proving an inconvenience to farmers arriving from all over to meet the Commission.
When it was formed in 2007, the Commission had its offices on Mudippura Lane, Jagathy. ‘’Back then, we expected merely one lakh applications,’’ Justice Gafoor recalled. It was a small place and visitors were greeted by the sight of applications stacked up to the ceiling. Later, the then LDF government had packed off the Commission to the World Market, Anayara, which far away from the city centre.