KOTTAYAM: A Cabinet subcommittee is looking into the controversial decisions, including the one to give nod to reclaim around 430 acres of Methran Kayal and paddy fields for commercial purposes, taken by the previous UDF Government, said Minister for Revenue and Housing E Chandrasekharan, and added a decision would be taken to repeal them if necessary.
“All the 47 Revenue Department files on the controversial decisions taken between January 1 and mid-May by the UDF Government are now with the Cabinet subcommittee. If any discrepancies are found, they will be annulled after the subcommittee files its report by the month-end,” said the Minister, who is also the Kanhangad MLA, during a meet the press programme at the press club here.
On regularisation of the land reclamations before 2008, the Minister said the issue would have to be discussed within the LDF and the Cabinet. He, however, added that initiatives would be taken to make an ordinance to regularise the lands reclaimed for genuine issues like house construction. He also expressed apprehension over the feasibility of the Zero Landless programme of the previous government as pattayams cannot be given to all, but only to the 'deserving ones'.
The Minister also said that only the land in possession before 1977 can be seen as settlement land and the rest will be taken as encroached land.On the land encroachments in areas like Munnar and Vagamon, the Minister said that within five days of swearing in of the Cabinet, the Revenue secretary had called a meeting of all officials concerned and directed that no new encroachment should be allowed which is being strictly followed by the officials who are evicting encroachers from various areas.
On the criticisms of K Suresh Kumar, who recently took voluntary retirement from the IAS, against the CPI in connection with the 2007 anti-encroachment drive in Munnar which was led by the former, Chandrasekharan said no new explanation is required on it.
The Minister also justified the removal of Susheela Bhatt from the post of government pleader in revenue cases saying all the governments appoint its trustworthy people and that it was a political decision.