1.5 years on, Scheduled Caste families in Perambalur village yet to be issued promised permanent pattas
In 1998, heeding to their demands the government provided the residents, who are all agricultural labourers, with ‘temporary pattas’. Land parcels of at least three cents were given to each of them.
PERAMBALUR: Almost a year and a half has passed since the district administration made a move towards issuance of permanent pattas to residents hailing from the Scheduled Caste community in Pasumbalur, but their distribution has been stalled owing to “unspecified reasons”. This, despite several protests, joined by politicians, over the issue.
Over 50 Scheduled Caste families have been reportedly residing at West Colony Street in Pasumbalur village in Veppandattai taluk since the 1960s. In 1998, heeding to their demands the government provided the residents, who are all agricultural labourers, with ‘temporary pattas’. Land parcels of at least three cents were given to each of them.
The families, who reside in huts and tiled roof houses, then urged for issuance of permanent pattas. Accordingly the district administration issued them to 14 of the families in 2018. Following the other families, with support from the Communist Party of India (CPI), staging protests demanding that they be issued permanent pattas too, the district administration in October 2020 reportedly relented and prepared the land document for issuance to 26 other families.
However, its distribution didn’t kick off citing various reasons, including the State Assembly election. The permanent pattas were not issued even after the polls.
Condemning the “reasons” District Collector P Sri Venkata Priya and Veppanthattai Tahsildar A Saravanan gave them when asked about the delay, the families announced taking to a protest in connection with the issue last September. Tahsildar Saravanan, however, held peace talks with them and reportedly promised issuance of the patta within 30 days. He reneged on the promise.
In the third week of February this year, the families along with the CPI pasted posters across the district condemning the Collector for not issuing the pattas.
CPI district secretary V Gnanasekar said, "After our struggle, the district administration has prepared the pattas. But we do not know why the District Collector is delaying its distribution."
P Chelladurai, a resident of West Colony Street, said, “Many houses, including mine, are damaged. We could not build houses without permanent patta. Also, we are unable to avail of State and Union government schemes. We do not even have basic facilities in our area due to this." Providing them with permanent pattas will change their children’s future and improve our livelihood, he added.
When contacted, Tahsildar A Saravanan told TNIE, "The permanent pattas are ready. We are awaiting a date from the local minister for distribution. A government event will be held here soon and the pattas will be handed over."