Kerala alleges land encroachment by Karnataka in Kodagu border

Kerala alleges land encroachment by Karnataka in Kodagu border

Kerala alleges land encroachment by Karnataka in Kodagu border

The Kerala  Government has alleged that around 10 acre of forest land had been encroached by Karnataka recently along the border of the districts, Kodagu and Kannur. The land is adjacent to the Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary in Kodagu. 

According to Kerala, the disputed land is on the bank of river Barapol at Makkootam which comes under Ayyan Kunnu Gram Panchayat, near Iritty in Kannur district.

 “Karnataka has come forward five metres along the 10 km stretch and had newly installed small concrete marking blocks as the border unilaterally. The survey stone which had been installed by both the states decades ago was seen re-installed,” said Ayyan Kunnu Gram Panchayat President Thomas Machithanni. He accused that Karnataka forest department personnel are behind the encroachment. 

Based on the reports that appeared in local media, Kerala revenue officials led by Thalassery Tahasildar M A Balaram and District surveyor Swapna Melukadan conducted a preliminary inspection on the site on December 10. “We had a preliminary inspection only but confirmed that land encroachment has taken place.

 Around 10 acre could have been encroached by Karnataka,”  M A Balaram told Deccan Herald. He added that to get a clear picture, a joint survey needs to be conducted with the participation of higher officials from the both states and in this regard a report had been submitted to Kannur district collector. The Tahasildar said that the map of 1932, drafted during pre-independence period is still resorted for deciding the exact border locations between the two states. “We had been on the site with the map, but the Karnataka forest official who was present there had only a district gazette of Coorg which dates back to 1908. Since the map of 1932 is the accepted draft, we can only pursue according to it,” Tahasildar maintained. Kerala revenue department had asked Karnataka forest department to cease any kind of activities along the border until a joint survey has been carried out. Kerala also argues that the encroachment could be a threat to the 125 crore estimated Barapol mini hydro power project which is in progress. 

‘Karnataka's 67 acre is with Kerala’

When contacted, Chief Conservator of forests (CCF), Kodagu circle Brijesh Kumar Dixith told Deccan Herald that the issue has not come to his notice. Let Kerala take up the issue at the state-level, he remarked. 

Meanwhile, the CCF alleged that 67 acre of land of Karnataka had been occupied by Kerala at Mundarod near Cherupuzha (Kerala) along Virajpet-Kannur border. “This land had been illegally occupied by Kerala since decades. We have decided to pursue the issue vigorously,” he said.