Demolition of houses stalled in Madikeri

The district administration had to stall the demolition of houses at Kottemotte and K Badaga villages amid stiff resistance from the villagers and the legislators’ persuasion, on Friday. 

Amid tight police security, Assistant Commissioner Nanjunde Gowda, Tahsildar Kunhamma and other revenue officials carried out the demolition drive to clear the houses. The drive, which commenced at 6 am, had cleared about five to six houses by 11.30 am using earthmovers. As the news spread, MLAs K G Bopaih, Appachu Ranjan and MLC Sunil Subramani rushed to the spot.

A total of 14 families, including widows and cancer patients, had constructed houses on paisari land. The families had applied under Form 94 (C) of Karnataka Land Reforms Act seeking regularisation of the land.

The government had taken a decision not to clear the encroachments till the applications under Akrama Sakrama are cleared, the legislators said.

The MLAs appealed to Deputy Commissioner Meer Anees Ahmmed not to go head with the drive.

They said that it is not right on the part of the district administration to clear the encroachments without providing alternative facilities.

The DC said that five acres of land was earmarked for the Zilla Panchayat building by the government. However, 14 families have encroached the land and constructed houses. Based on the High Court direction, the drive to clear the encroachment was initiated. The work on the Zilla Panchayat building should commence before the onset of monsoon, he said.

The tahsildar has already rejected the application of the encroachers under Akrama Sakrama. In her report, the tahsildar has said the encroachers own lands in the neighbouring villages, the deputy commissioner said. The victims said, “The government has failed to sanction land to the poor landless families.”

The protesters said the house belonging to cancer patient and widow Chondamma has been demolished. “Without a roof over the head, where should the families go?” the protesters asked.

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