Revenue dept hands over land for rehabilitation

Fisheries dept officials say that 3111  families in the district, living within 50 metres of the sea, have 
expressed interest to move out

Published: 27th June 2020 07:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2020 03:14 PM   |  A+A-

Sea advancement and heavy sea erosion have swallowed hundreds of homes in the coastal belt. A home destroyed by sea erosion at Perumathura. (Photo | Vincent Pulickal, EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Giving a huge relief to families displaced by sea erosion at Valiyathura, the revenue department has issued an order handing over roughly 2.9 acres of land in Muttathara, worth `5.8 crores, to the fisheries department. The space will be used for constructing apartment complexes for rehabilitating the families. Sea advancement and severe sea erosion have displaced hundreds of families in the coastal belt in the state capital. Currently, hundreds of families are residing at multiple relief camps here.  

The 3.94 acres of ‘purampokke’ land at Muttathara were leased by St Anthony’s School, Valiyathura. The school authorities had approached the High Court challenging the decision to use the land for rehabilitation of the displaced families. Valiyathura is one of the worst affected areas in Thiruvananthapuram district. The government has decided to allow one acre as a playground for the school and residents of the area, while the rest would be handed over to the fisheries department.

The revenue department has given strict direction to the fisheries department to launch the rehabilitation project within a year and protect the land from further encroachments. An official with the fisheries department said that the housing project in Muttathara land would be launched as part of ‘Punargeham’ project, which aims to relocate fishermen families living in close proximity to the sea to safer areas. The state government has allotted `2450 crores for ‘Punargeham’ scheme.

“As many as 3111 families in the district living within 50 metres of the sea have expressed willingness to move out. Our plan is to construct around 160 units in 20 housing complexes at Muttathara,” said an official of the fisheries department. The official added that the project order was received this week and would be finalised soon. As many as 284 families have already relocated, accepting the Rs 10 lakh rehabilitation package of the state government. 

Valiyathura ward councillor Sheeba Patrick said that the project has been long pending. “The land was in dispute and now the housing project is finally taking off. But the only hurdle is getting clearance from the Airports Authority of India. As far as I know, the fisheries department is planning to construct two-storey complexes and the land is located close to the landing area of the airport,” said Sheeba.


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