Assessing value of their land before vacating it for housing project
Kollam Jn (QLN): Railways will wait for a report on land value to be submitted by District Collector A. Kowsigan before they vacate 2.6 acres of land to house the Pullikada slum residents in the city under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY).
The decision to wait for the report was made after a meeting, held on Monday between Sunil Bajpai, Divisional Railway Manager (Thiruvananthapuram), and officials including Dr. Kowsigan, the Mayor, MLA, and MP at the Collector’s chamber, failed to arrive at any agreement regarding the hand-over of the land.
Before the meeting, Mr. Bajpai inspected the slum in Kollam city to take stock of how the residents could be included under the RAY.
Mr. Bajpai visited the slum following a communication from Dr. Kowsigan that the slum had been cleared for implementing the second phase of RAY in Kollam city and therefore the Railways should hand over the land required for the purpose to the Corporation.
The Kollam MP, N.K. Premachandran, P.K. Gurudasan MLA, Mayor Honey Benjamin, Dr. Kowsigan and railway and revenue officials accompanied the DRM during the visit.
The 2.6-acres in dispute is part of a 4.6-acres of Railway property that was encroached upon over 40 years ago.
The slum has 327 families, and none of them have revenue title deeds for the land in which their shanties stand.
In 2011, much before the slum was selected under the RAY, a tentative agreement was reached with the Railways to hand over 4.6 acres of land at the rate of Rs.1 lakh per cent.
But that was no followed up. The agreement reached in 2011 is now not acceptable to the Railways.
Under the RAY project, 2.6 acres of land will be sufficient to accommodate all the families in apartments. The Railways have put forward a demand that once 2.6 acres of land is handed over, the city Corporation should take the responsibility to clear the encroachments on its remaining property.