Ordeals of 29 Koraga families in Udupi

Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF) Udupi president, said that although the district administration had sanctioned sites for 29 Koraga women, the authorities have not marked the layouts for these families.

Speaking to media persons here on Saturday, he said that the authorities have failed mark the layouts for the families even after seven years of sanctioning the sites. "The 29 families were living at Athrady, Ambagilu, Alevoor and Ellur had learnt that the state government would allot land to them. Accordingly, in 2010, they submitted their applications for sites. Finally, the authorities sanctioned eight cents of land in the 2.61-acre site on Survey No 229 of Kondady area in Bommarbettu village near Hiriyadka," said Shanbhag.

Title deeds on I-Day

He added that even the title deeds for the said land were handed over to them on Independence Day in 2011. "But, to their astonishment, they could not trace out the land allotted to them and hence contacted the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) Department. They then received information that the government had sanctioned Rs 1.5 lakh for the levelling the land allotted to them. Of this Rs 1.5 lakh, an amount of Rs 97,000 was released. Again, in 2013-14, Rs 3 lakh was sanctioned for the same project," he said and added, it remains a mystery as to how the amount was used. "When they approached the then Deputy Commissioner M T Reju, the latter asked to level the land themselves. The 29 beneficiaries pooled Rs 5,000 each and carried out the work. As the land was sloppy, they were not successful in levelling the land," he said.

Shanbhag said further that after two years, the beneficiaries approached the State Human Rights Commission and explained their plight. "Following the directions of the Commission in 2015, the then Deputy Commissioner Vishal R, visited the site and directed the officers to look into the issue. However, no concrete action was taken so far. The beneficiaries approached the HRPF a few months ago and explained their plight," he said.

The HRPF took up the cleaning of the land with the help of members of the Volunteer Service Organisation (VSO) of Manipal University on Sunday.

Dr Shanbhag urged the district administration to explain why the beneficiaries were made to wait for such a long years. What happened to the fund released by the government to level the land, he asked.

Beneficiary Subeda said, "We have approached the authorities several times in the past to mark the layouts. We tried to level the land but were not successful in it."

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