Renovation of Kasargod Fort leads to altercation

Renovation of Kasargod Fort leads to altercation

The ASI has taken an initiative to renovate several forts in Kasargod district. Accordingly, the department planned to renovate the historical Kasargod Fort, which is located near the Kasargod town. The department had kept nearly 8,000 laterite stones ready near the fort for development works. However, those stones were seen dumped into nearby wells and pits. Though the fort was situated in an area of about 4 -8 acres earlier, later it has been reduced to 51 cents. Rest of the property has been transferred to private hands. Interestingly, it was government officials, who handed over the land to an individual. The person, who was possessing 3.90 acres of land, has already shifted to Karnataka after selling the property. A case in this connection was pending in the courts and finally the Supreme Court had delivered verdict in favour of the person. Currently, Gopinath, a resident of Chattanchal and two others are holding the ownership of 3.90 acres of land.

Gopinath questioned authorities as to how development plans were prepared and laterite stones were brought to the premises without their permission. Speaking to Deccan Herald, he said that since ASI officials have apologised, the issue has been solved temporarily.

Officials, who reached the fort for survey work, had to return after seing the documents. Meanwhile, owners of the land had cut old and huge trees to prevent ASI authorities from bringing trucks inside their property. As per the latest survey, only 51 cents of land belongs to the Kasargod Fort, which include an ancient well and a watch tower.

‘Connivance of land mafia’
The Malabar Eco Cultural Association (MECA) Secretary Prof T T Jacob alleged the revenue officials have sold the land belonging to Kasargod Fort in connivance with land mafia.
Jacob told Deccan Herald that nobody was there to pay tax for the fort’s land for the past 30 years. However, Tahsildar Chaniappa sent a letter to the person, who claims the ownership of the fort land, to pay the tax recently. “On what basis Tahsildar had sent a directive to the person,” Jacob questioned.

Jacob charged that Revenue Divisional Officer Shridhar Bhat and Additional District Magistrate C Vasudeva are  involved in the  misappropriation. Legal battle will be initiated after obtaining all documents under RTI Act, he added.
Meanwhile, a new committe has been formed to fight for the renovation of Kasargod Fort. The members of the Kote Samrakshana Samiti demanded that all the eight forts in the district should be protected.
DH News Service

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