KANNUR: "Since the rules provide us the right to construct a house in our own land, I can't understand why these people deny us that?" asks V P Sahna.
The 40-year-old is tired of knocking on doors to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Defence Security Corps (DSC) officials in Kannur to start constructing a house on her ancestral property. As per the guidelines issued by the Defence Ministry on October 21, 2016, construction could be allowed 10 metres from the outer wall of defence establishments.
It was four years back that Sahna had filed an application seeking permission to build a house in her ancestral property opposite Military Hospital in Kannur. Since an NOC from the local military unit is necessary to construct a house near their establishment, the Kannur corporation had handed over the application with translated copies of the land document, police verification report and the plan for the proposed building. Despite the existence of Defence Ministry guidelines, the Kannur DSC had chosen to refuse permission saying that the issue of permission for construction within 50 metres of defence establishments is under the consideration of the defence ministry.
"Since the DSC refused to give NOC, the corporation too refused permission," said Mansoor, Sahna's husband.
He said they had filed another application under RTI to the defence ministry regarding the existing rules.
"According to the reply given to us, defence ministry says that the existing rules allow construction 10 metres from the outer wall of defence establishments. But the military officials have now taken a stand that they can't allow any construction within 100 metres from the outer walls of their establishments. We have been knocking on the doors of military officials for the past four years expecting a favourable decision as we don't have any other piece of land to construct a house of our own," Mansoor said.
He said it is frustrating to see that they are up against a force that could easily shatter their dreams. "We plead with the military officials to adopt a humanitarian approach regarding this as we are not doing anything illegal here," he said.
When TNIE contacted the Kannur corporation, an official said that there are many applications pending in connection with the issue.
"Since we can't get into a conflict with the military, we are helpless to support the people who come to us seeking permission to build houses," he said, on condition of anonymity.
A similar issue was reported in Kozhikode as the military refused permission to construct buildings. But, on June 21, 2021, the then collector Sambasiva Rao had convened a meeting of people's representatives and military officials to resolve the issue.
"The people's representatives of Kannur and the district collector should intervene in the issue so that people like us are able to construct houses on our own land. Our family had been living in that land since 1950, and it was only a few years back that we demolished the house as it had become old and was about to crumble," said Sahna.
"We don't have any other plot to construct a house. DSC should show humanitarian consideration while dealing with such cases," she said.
Sahna also has given a representation to Local Self-Government Minister M V Govindan seeking the intervention of the state government.