Land deeds handed over by Sonia Gandhi, 17 months later 32 families are still landless
news Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | The News Minute | February 12, 2015 | 1.20 pm IST Ponnamma is a sixty five year old daily wage worker from the Pattanamthitta district of Kerala. Almost one and half years ago, Ponnamma was elated as the Kerala government chose her family as one amongst 31 other landless families from the district to receive land. But the joy was short-lived. Today, Ponnamma is tired, after having done innumerable rounds at government offices, literally begging for her three cents of land. When Sonia Gandhi visited Kerala in September 2013, the Congress President distributed title deeds to some landless families during a much publicized event. The title deeds were given under the Zero Landless (Citizens) Kerala Project, which seeks to provide three cents of land each to 2.44 lakh landless in the state by 2015. Thirty two families from Vadasserikkara village Pathanamthitta district received title deeds of three cents each, directly from Sonia Gandhi. But 17 months later, not one of them has received the land as per the title deeds. â€śWe are fed up; many times we approached village and panchayat office. Nothing has been done. Our land remains in the papers, we have even given request letters to Chief Ministerâ€ť Ponnamma says. Though 95 cents of land has been allotted by the government to these families, the local panchayat has not yet given permission for the allotment. According to sources panchayat has taken a court stay against the allotment. â€śPanchayat has obtained a stay from the court, preventing the allotment of the land. They had claimed that the government allotted land was reserved for panchayat building construction,â€ť said a source from Vadasserikkara village office. As per norms, the land allotment should be completed within three months of distribution of title deeds. But these families still remain landless though they own 3 cents on paper. All these 32 families live in single- room rented houses and move from one residence to another frequently. â€śThey promised us the allotment in December 2013, but now we came to know that panchayat has got a court stay,â€ť says Unnikrishnan another beneficiary of the scheme. â€śWe are financially weak, so we donâ€™t know how to go ahead,â€ť he added. However he said that none of them have got any notice from the court regarding the stay. But it seems the families have landed in this situation due to a petty political fight. A social worker and a native of Vadasserikkara alleged that panchayat is trying to grab the land allotted for the poor. Tweet
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