RANIPET: District officials led by Ranipet Collector Baskara Pandian and Handlooms Minister R Gandhi held talks with Melvisharam Wakf Board officials on Tuesday regarding transferring of land needed to house the 353 families who were shifted from Sadiq Basha Nagar and MGR Nagar on Palar riverbed based on court orders.
Though the evicted families were allotted land at Koorambadi, some 5 km away, Koorambadi locals opposed the decision and refused to allow the families.
Collector Baskara Pandian said, “Koormabadi locals themselves have encroached on meichal poromboke land (allotted for cattle grazing) and hence they were apprehensive that they might also be evicted from the settlements.”
The administration had issued eviction orders in March, which was highlighted, by this paper on March 14. Residents sought time citing Ramazan festival apart from their plans to seek legal remedy. However, officials moved in when the given deadline ran out and all houses were razed over in 2 days from June 26.
“What is galling is that we were moved some years ago from near the NH as the stretch was widened at that time. Now we are being shifted again,” complained R Rafeeq Ahamed, a SDPI functionary.
P Irfan, TMMK district secretary, said, “for the time-being all have moved to relatives houses nearby. We requested land in the same area as all residents are daily wage earners and most of them work only in the vicinity.” Also, children in all the families attend local schools, he added.
Asked about this, the Collector said, “We held talks with the Wakf Board officials and the local muthavalli who expressed willingness to provide the necessary land in the 57 acres available at Melvisharam.”
Wakf officials also put forward a request to Minister Gandhi seeking his help to remove a person who had encroached upon 3.50 acres of Wakf land in the area. The Minister in turn asked the Collector to do the needful.