Sites still a dream for 29 Koraga families

Sites still a dream for 29 Koraga families

Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF) President Ravindranath Shanbhag speaks to members of Koraga community in Udupi.

Udupi district administration under Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP) had given unusable land to 29 Koraga families in Kondadi village in Udupi taluk.

Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF) President Ravindranath Shanbhag said though 2 acres and 61 cents of land (2.61 acres) was earmarked in Kondadi village by the district administration way back in 2010, the same land has not been converted into sites even after nine years.

"However, the families had ceremoniously received the 'title deeds' (land documents) of the sites at the district-level Independence Day celebrations way back in 2011."

Shanbhag said the officials and people's representatives have conveniently forgotten the land issue.

Despite 29 Koraga families repeatedly informing the ITDP officials that the land allotted to them in Kondadi was not in a usable condition, officials did not listen to them. The families just carried the 'title deeds' with them all these 9 years and resided in rented houses in Nittur.

"Is this how the officials of ITDP should treat the Koragas?," Shanbhag asked.

In 2012, the allottees were informed that the government had sanctioned Rs 1.5 lakh for leveling the uneven land allotted to them. It was also reported that Rs 97,000 was released by the authorities. But no work worth mentioning has been undertaken on the land, he added.

Subedha, who is one of the beneficiary and was supposed to get the site, is the convener of newly formed Kondadi Tribal Site Owners' Association.

She said the ITDP officials claim of spending Rs 50 lakh on transforming the 2.61 acres of land into housing sites was false.

"In reality, the topography of the land still remains the same and none families would dare to construct houses there as anytime landslide may occur during the rainy season. They are promising of leveling the land and converting it into sites. We will not accept it in its present condition,” she said.

Shanbhag said recently, Karnataka Lokayukta had initiated an enquiry into the Kondadi Koraga Colony Scam on the basis of complaint filed by the site applicants.

Though Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned and released to provide infrastructure such as road, water, electricity and drainage, none of the amenities have been provided till date, he added.

Shanbhag said that if officials of ITDP further delays the process of giving the proper sites to 29 Koraga families, the HRPF would file a writ petition in the High Court of Karnataka demanding justice in the coming days, he said.