Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (HB)
With inputs from Media Release
Udupi, Dec 1: The Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) authority is harassing 23 families of Koraga community from Kondadi, who had to receive land under a government scheme 11 years ago. But till now, none of the applicants have received the land. They allege that the land is not worth staying and not safe anymore. Now the allottees are demanding for alternative land,” said Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi.
He was addressing the media on Wednesday December 1 at Vaikunta Baliga Law College auditorium here.
He said, “After many years, 2.16 acre of land is allotted at Bommarabettu village, Udupi. On the auspicious occasion of Independence Day in 2011, in the august presence of the district minister and MLAs, allotment letters were handed over to these backward families. The beneficiaries could not trace out the site allotted to them for 7 years and had to approach the in charge officer of the project on several occasions. There were no roads or any other amenities.
“In 2012, the allottees were informed that the government had sanctioned Rs 1.5 lac for levelling the uneven land allotted for this project. It was also reported that Rs 97,000 out of this had also been released by the authorities. But no work worth mentioning was undertaken on the land.
“Again in 2013-14, there were reports of release of a further Rs 3 lac for the same cause. But the outcome of all these sanctions and releases is little known to the allottees. Again in 2018, Rs 50 lac was sanctioned and released to provide infrastructure such as road, water, electricity and drainage. But even after two years, none of the amenities were provided.
“In these circumstances, on the basis of the complaints filed by the tribal community, Lokayukta of Karnataka had issued a notice to the concerned officials of Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) asking for the explanation to the complaint received from Koragas. Now, a retainer wall built on the land has collapsed due to poor unscientific civil works. But the departmental engineer is not ready to accept the truth and keep on ignoring,” he said.
“Subedha from Ambagilu, one of the beneficiaries of government site said, “We were waiting since 11 years with lots of hope in getting the allotted site. Now the beneficiaries are residing in different places of the district like Kadekaru, Ambagilu and Indrali. The allotted government site is not suitable for us to stay. It is filled with stones and very uneven. The retainer wall has collapsed. We had asked surety letters from the ITDP, but they are not ready to give one. We do not have that much money to invest on that land. We did not want to approach any of the politicians after we received the RTC. Now we are fighting to get the sites. However, we need alternative government land.”
Dr Shanbhag said, “I will not back track from this case. It is a huge scam and only a few people are aware of it. A case has been filed against the deputy commissioner at the district judge and session court regarding the injustice. The judge called a meeting in order to resolve the case. But those 23 families are harassed by ITDP for no reason. I would request the concerned department to consider this case seriously. Otherwise I will fight until they get the justice.”
Other beneficiaries like Sameera from Indrali and Mahalakshmi from Ambagilu were present.