THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite pressures from various quarters for giving compensation to the land acquired for setting up the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) at Wayanad, the government has ordered to resume 75 acres of land in Mananthawadi without shelling out a single paise.
Earlier, there was a move to pay compensation of about `20 crore to `25 crore for the land that was to be acquired, which ‘Express’ had exposed a few months back.
The order, which ‘Express’ possesses, says that the lessee M/s Glen Leven Estate in Mananthawadi is not entitled for the value of the land as the jenmom right is vested with the government. The order says that the lessee is entitled only for the value of improvements/structures it had done in the said land.
“The Wayanad District Collector is accordingly directed to acquire 75 acres of land from M/s Glen Leven estate for the establishment of the campus of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Wayanad,’’ the order said.
There was much pressure on the government to giving compensation for the land. Even the Advocate-General had in his opinion favoured compensation to the estate-owners. ‘Express’ had exposed the move with Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan taking up the issue.
The property that has to be resumed was originally leased out for 99 years in 1941 to V V Joseph and others. After that, the dependents of Joseph sold the lease hold right to M/s Glen Leven estate.
The new decision is said to be a revolutionary one, making it clear that all leased lands are vested with the government. Moreover, the government can now resume all excess lands that are now under illegal possession.
Earlier, when the proposal came for setting up the SCTIMST campus at Wayanad, the government was for providing compensation to the estate-owner despite the State Land Board and the Revenue Department expressing their strong protest against the move. The Land Board in its report had said that the 75 acres of land to be acquired came under the exempted category and was “controlled land” for which no compensation need be given.
While disagreeing with the move to providing compensation, the Land Board had pointed out that hundreds of acres belonging to Glen Leven estates were declared as excess land by the Taluk Land Board and once declared as excess land, they have to be surrendered to the government free of cost. And, there was no provision to give compensation to excess land under the Land Acquisition Act.