Rehab centre struggles to retain land

Members of the Sumanahalli Society who are fighting a legal battle with the Karnataka government over lease of their land, met Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka  on Saturday.

The government, on October 22, cancelled the lease of 48 acres to the Society and leased out only five acres and 23 guntas for the centre for rehabilitation of patients living with HIV and leprosy, and destitutes, that is functioning  since 1978.

The Society alleged that the government seems to be determined to deprive the destitutes of the rehab centre and plans to plant sapplings as per the decision of the Central Relief Committee on November 7, 2012.

“Forty years back, the land was on the outskirts of Bangalore. Now that it is a prime land within City limits, the government has gotten greedy,” said Anjaneya Reddy, general secretary of Federation of Voluntary Organisations for Development, one of the parties helping the cause of the Society.

During the meeting, the minister promised to look into the matter, Reddy said. The inmates who came at 7.30 am, had to wait for hours before they could meet Ashoka.

The Society will meet the chief minister on Sunday.  If the government does not relent, the Society will organise a meeting of 33 leper colonies from around the State and decide on the next course of action, said Suresh Kumar, president of the Karnataka Leprosy Affected Persons Welfare Association.

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