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Sunday, February 17, 2013 9:25:27 AM (IST)  

Udupi: Row over cremation ground at Uchila - locals protest

Inchara Udupi
Daijiworld media Network - Udupi (VM)

Udupi, Feb 17: The controversial cremation ground at Uchila Bada gram panchyat limits which was used by a particular community is once again in the news after the district administration declared the land as a common cremation ground for all. This declaration was made on Friday February 15.

As per the information obtained, it was said that the tahsildar was supposed to set up a sign board for the cremation ground on February 16 morning but did not turn even till evening, and the officials were tired waiting.

In connection to the Hindu cremation ground, there was a fight between two sections of the community. The locals alleged that instead of handling the matter in an appropriate manner, the MLA of the area had worsened the situation as a result of which they decided to boycott the Uchila gram panchayat along with som political leaders.

The district administration decided to intervene and proclaimed the area as a common cremation ground.

Udupi tahsildar Abhijan, taluk panchayat CEO D Manjunathaih, along with police protection arrived at the location and installed the required sign boards. During the installation the locals began to protest, but since the tahsildar was under instructions of the district commissioner, he could not do anything.

Speaking on the occasion, the locals said that the surrounding area was a land meant for irrigation and several people reside around. For drinking water and irrigation purpose, the government under the small irrigation project allotted Rs 64 lac to dig up the irrigated soil and construct a barrier wall; which is currently an ongoing project.

On the other side, the government also planned to make the cremation land common to all communities with strong backing from certain quarters; for which the locals decided to retaliate accordingly.

The district administration now claims that the said irrigated land is not meant for irrigation, but 12 years ago the former DC had vacated 60 houses stating that the area is an irrigated land. The locals questioned the explanation.

Adding to the controversies, the tahsildar has installed the signboard without submitting legal documents, alleged one of the locals.

Locals protest against land near Uchila School

An area of 1.56 acres located near Yermal School has been utilized as cremation land by a particular section of the community for several years.

The locals have been protesting to make it as common cremation ground for many years, but in vain. A memorandum had also been submitted to the gram panchayat and other officials.

Many houses and schools have arisen in the area next to the cremation land; the locals have requested the government to convert it into a cremation land only.

Tahsildar Abhijan, addressing the media said, ďThe cremation land next to the school has now been made into a common cremation ground for all. At the same time another cremation ground has been identified near Kattengery lake. The district administration after a thorough discussion took this decision five months ago."

A signboard was thus installed and no changes will be made on this, he added.

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