THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the deadline for private groups in Idukki to vacate more than 6,000 acres of plantation land found to be government property ending on Wednesday, State Special Officer (Land Resumption) M G Rajamanickam has submitted a set of recommendations to the government for the future operations of the plantation.
Option no 1 is that the plantation can be brought under a labourers’ society under government control. Two, the society can be modelled on the Indian Coffee House societies, and three, the government can also try out the Priyadarshini Plantation model of Wayanad. The July 29 letter to Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) concerns the recovery of over 6217.25 acres of land once held by a British company Travancore Tea Estate (UK) Ltd before Independence.
Now held by private parties, a government investigation had revealed it is indeed government property and the deadline for private parties to vacate the land ends on Wednesday. In his letter, he has drawn attention to various precautionary measures that need to be taken if the private party does not vacate the property.
The entire issue revolves around 6,217.25 acres of a total 9,265.36 acres that have been found to be government land. Earlier, an investigation had revealed that British company Travancore Tea Estate (UK) Ltd had in its possession 9265.36 acres of land in Elappara, Peermade and Periyar villages in Idukki district.
Three companies had later laid claim to this land; Poabs Enterprises Pvt Ltd claimed that 3048.11 acres had come into its possession through an auction held by Provident Fund officials in 2008.
Two companies under the Ram Bahadur Takur Co. - MMS and CBS groups - had staked claim to the remaining 6,217.25 acres. A subsequent inspection revealed the entire 9265.36 acres of land belonged to the government, the letter said. As records of their ownership, the latter groups had presented only photocopies of a contract allegedly made by the Travancore Tea Estate (UK) Ltd registering the land in the name of Ram Bahadur Takur Co. in 1976, according to Rajamanickam.
Poabs wins HC stay
Regarding the claim over 3048.11 acres, Poabs had approached the High Court and won a stay on procedures under Kerala Land Conservancy (KLC) Act. In this situation, the government issued relevant notices in June 2017 declaring the remaining 6217.25 acres of land as government property.
The MMS and CBS groups had laid claim over 3101.07 acres and 3116.18 acres respectively of the 6217.15 acres. They had received the notices on July 19, with 15 days leave to vacate the properties. This grace period ends on August 2, and the report has recommended eviction procedures to be launched after the August 2 deadline.