The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to immediately hand over the houses built for the rehabilitation of landslide victims in Malappuram districtâ€™s Kavalappara.
Kalavalappara was one of the worst affected regions during the heavy rains in 2019. Scores of residents in the region were displaced during the landslide triggered by the heavy rains.The landslide claimed over 55 lives and affected more than 70 families.
The houses for the affected families were constructed at Chembankolly by the Federal Bank under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme.
Justice Anu Sivaraman issued the order considering a petition by a resident of Chalikkal Colony of Chungathara of Kavalappara.
According to a report by the Times Of India, the construction of the houses was initially obstructed by Nilmabur MLA PV Anvar and his henchmen. Later, the Collector removed them from the spot te resume the construction, the petitioner said. The plea, according to the report, also said that the MLA obstructed the implementation of the project as he was allegedly not invited for the foundation-laying ceremony.
The petitioner also alleged that a mass petition, seeking rehabilitation of the affected people, was submitted to the Collector, but no action was taken.
The government pleader, however, stated that the delay in shifting the families to the houses is due to the COVID-19 situation.
â€œHaving considered the contentious advance on all sides, I am of the opinion that since the project is complete and the residences are ready for occupation, the continued delay is completed unjustified. The District Collector is directed to take appropriate steps to see that the beneficiaries are rehabilitated to the project as contemplated initially, without any further delay. The needful shall be done within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment," the order said.