Finally, 328 displaced families of Hampi to get sites

Finally, 328 displaced families of Hampi to get sites

After legal battle and disagreements with authorities, besides being displaced for over one-and-a-half years, the 328 families that were evicted from Salu Mantapa in front of Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, will finally get reprieve.

A majority of them, who did not enjoy any land rights in this World Heritage site, despite residing there for several years, will shortly be rightful owners of a piece of land. They will be given title deeds to sites in a layout formed specifically to accommodate them.

Tourism Minister Anand Singh told Deccan Herald that the works on the layout at Malpangudi, three km from the heritage site were almost completed, and the families would be handed over title deeds by second week of February.

The government would shortly give statutory clearances for the formation of a commercial layout, close to this residential layout, he said. During the time of demolition of shops and homes at the temple pavilion, the district administration had identified only 36 ‘original patta holders’, who were granted permission to occupy the mantapas by the Madras Province in 1956.

The district administration, which was opposed to rehabilitating all the 300-odd families, however, had to cede after the court intervened. Subsequently works on formation of the residential layout began, and 328 sites were carved out in 15.80 acre by Nirmiti Kendra. Each family is entitled to a 20x30 sqft site, plus Rs 1.30 lakh compensation.

The government has released Rs 65,000 to each of these families in November 2011, as first instalment. The cheques have been deposited in the bank, on which, the families will take a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh.

With this amount they will build houses. Once the houses reach lintel level, the government will release the second instalment of Rs 65,000, which, again will be pledged in the bank, over which Rs 1.5 lakh will be borrowed by the beneficiaries.

Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA) Commissioner D R Ashok said that most works including the laying of approach road had been completed.

Asphalting and drawing of electrical lines, in progress, will be completed shortly. The government has spent Rs 4.30 crore, out of Rs 18 crore (sanctioned by the tourism department and Archeological Survey of India), on formation of the layout.
Ashok said that HWHAMA would give statutory clearance for the formation of the commercial layout in its meeting on Monday.

The layout has come up on 8.98 acre in the same Malpangudi area. As per the High Court direction, the government had to change the land use (from agriculture to commercial), where about 160 odd vendors and shop owners will be allowed to run their businesses including lodges, internet cafe, travels, hotels, etc.

The district administration has erected temporary kiosks that will be given to 12 vendors on rent space at the entrance of the heritage site, where traditional pooja items, trinkets and local crafts will be on sale, added Ashok.

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