THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With members of the team spearheading Munnar eviction drive voicing concerns on threat to life and personal safety plus purported moves to implicate them in Vigilance cases on trumped up charges, the Revenue Department has promised its full backing, including legal protection, to the officers. Besides,the officers right from the village officers have been vested with more powers, with clear instructions to take all possible action against encroachers under the land rules.
Despite the intense pressure from vested interests to call off Mission Munnar’s ongoing phase, the officers concerned have been given the carte blanche to evict all encroachments listed in the report submitted by ousted Devikulam Sub-Collector Sriram Venkitaraman.
The government has a list of about 160 land encroachments and Venkitaraman already served notice on majority of them.
Some of the encroachments were cleared but at a price - Venkitaraman was shunted out after politicians of all hues closed ranks against his unyielding stance. Though the political parties were hopeful of the eviction drive dying a natural death with Venkitaraman’s exit, it proved mere wishful thinking since Revenue Minister E Chandrashekaran is believed to have asked officers to take off from where Venkitaraman had left off.
Highly placed revenue officials said Chandrashekaran had come across reports of apprehensions voiced by officers in the eviction drive constituted by Venkitaraman. They said the minister asked the officers to go ahead with the eviction drive no matter what and the department had extended them all legal support.
Chandrasekharan has shown he means business when the officers were told in no uncertain terms action will indeed be taken against those who went against the government policy. Also, he put his foot down to stall the transfer of four officers in the eviction team.
The government has received reports of encroachments across the district, especially at Pallivasal, Chinnakkanal, Bisonvalley, Anaviratty, Shantanpara, Mankulam, Marayoor, Keezanthoor and KDH areas.
Taking a stand
The officers concerned have been given the carte blanche to evict all encroachments listed in the report submitted by Sriram Venkitaraman.The government has a list of about 160 land encroachments
When he was Devikulam Sub-Collector, Venkitaraman already served notice on a majority of the encroachments.