'Reforms' bring more miseries on 'loyal family'

'Reforms' bring more miseries on 'loyal family'

This is the tale of one such family in Mangalore city, which remained loyal to their masters and opted not give declaration to the land that they lived as custodians for. 

If Parameshwara Poojary had followed the tide of tenants who stood against the landlords, then probably today his daughters Sunita (40), a person with 50 per cent disability, and Sumati (50), the sole bread winner of the family and his 80-year-old wife Yenkamma would have been secured.

After the death of Sunitha’s father, Sunita and family continued to keep the master-tenant relation by caring for the land that they lived on. Though the master had promised to give 10 cent land to this family as a token of appreciation for family’s loyalty, this family served the masters without any expectation.

But their respect for masters tumbled like castle of cards when the family learnt from the neighbours that their masters had sold the entire 5.14 acre land to a real estate developer. Since last four years, Sunita has been running from pillar to post to get justice.

“Unfortunately, in return to this loyalty what we received is a trail of sleepless nights, a series of threatening calls from goons, empty promises from politicians and a question that whether they deserve to be in this situation,” says Sunitha.

“The developer who bought the land never came to picture. He had his henchmen (from MCC officials to local goons) approaching us and asking us to vacate the land. The developer had bought the land because of the scenic beauty around the plot and its potential for real estate development. He soon realised that the land was in CRZ - I and he cannot develop it the way he had planned to,” narrates Sunitha and adds that initially he must have thought of resorting to take relaxation under the CRZ Act which is flexible if there is a structure built before 1991. Later, he must have thought of handing over the land to MCC and get Transfer Development Right (TDR) in return so that he can profitably carry on his ‘Land Trades’ using TDR in more commercially viable locations in the city.

Park for whom?

Sunita approached the court and got a stay order against disposition of the family. When the family was comfortable that nobody can throw them out, MCC came into picture with its proposed plan for park on the same land on public demand and because of demand from employees of a software company functioning nearby.

Sunita filed an RTI and asked the MCC how many people and employees of the said company have demanded for a park on this land which had a narrow, single approach road and is about three kms away from the main road. The MCC failed to furnish relevant documents, says Sunitha.

When contacted, MCC former commissioner Dr K N Vijayprakash said that the issue was brought to his notice long time ago.

“There are funds available to increase lung space in the city. However, the family will not be victimized. They will be rehabilitated,” assured the former commissioner.
With all these, the civil society groups are questioning the need for developing a park smothering a family like this when existing parks in the city are craving for attention.
With the new commissioner taking charge, the family is now hopeful that at least he will respond to their pangs.

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