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Villagers in Tamil Nadu's Udumalaipet allege land encroached for resort

During enquiries, it was found that private individuals had bought a few acres and encroached several hundred acres on the hills without informing the original owners.

Published: 27th November 2021 12:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2021 12:56 AM   |  A+A-

Andiyagoundanur at the foothills of Jambhukkal hill in Udumalaipet.

Villagers went to the hill recently and found that several hundred acres of farmland were levelled, hundreds of trees uprooted and a large resort being built.

By Express News Service

TIRUPPUR: Residents of Andiyagoundanur at the foothills of Jambhukkal hill in Udumalaipet have alleged that a few private individuals have encroached upon their land on the hill to build a resort. Further, they said lands belonging to a few tribal people have also been encroached upon.

K Eswaran (40), a villager, said, “In the early 1970s, the State government offered over 500 acres of farmland in the hill, and more than 700 residents and tribals in Andiyagoundanur village relocated there to engage in farming and animal rearing. In the 1990s, due to poor rains, many people moved down from the hill and settled back in Andiyagoundanur. In 2019, a group of private individuals bought 20 acres in the hill from the villagers for farming. Over a period of time, locals noticed the movement of heavy vehicles on the pathway to the hill.”

He said a few villagers went to the hill recently and found that several hundred acres of farmland were levelled, hundreds of trees uprooted and a large resort being built. They also found a 100-feet deep well. They were shocked to find several survey stones missing.

During enquiries, they found that private individuals had bought a few acres and encroached several hundred acres on the hills without informing the original owners. Eswaran said though he was able to identify his land, the private individuals had encroached upon his father’s land.

Suresh Babu (37), another villager, said, “My grandfather Ramaswamy relocated to Jambhukkal hill after receiving a land granted for farming in the 1970s. In the 1980s, there was a drought, and they could not carry out farming. In the 1990s, he relocated to Coimbatore along with my father. My grandfather
and father owned 2.5 acres each on the hill. In 2019, a group of private individuals approached me to buy the land, but I refused. Later, I found that these individuals bought a few acres in the hill. Later, as there weren’t residents on the hill, they encroached upon all farmlands there for commercial purposes. I visited and found the whole place levelled using earthmovers. Our survey stone was missing. Despite complaints, the local authorities have not taken action.”

Dhandapani (35), a painter from Coimbatore, said, “My grandmother Thirumi owned 2.5 acres in the hill. On knowing about the encroachments, we rushed there and found the survey stones of our farmland missing. My father and grandmother did not sell any property, and  we still have the original sale deed on the property.”

Speaking to TNIE, Tiruppur Collector Dr S Vineeth said, “I will check the property records on the lands in Jambukkal hill. Besides, an official will inspect the site, and based on his report, appropriate action will be taken.”
 



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