» Authorities have begun the mission to demolish the encroachments in Munnar amid tight security arrangement.
» The eviction team, led by Devikulam additional tehsildar, along with the police have reached Pappathichola to recover the encroachment on the revenue land
» Police have arranged tight security cover for the eviction team
» Section 144 has been imposed in some parts of Munnar as precautionary measure to avoid agitation
» Some of the locals have tried to block the team by leaving their vehicles on the road. This has been cleared using excavators
» Police have also removed protesters from the scene
Munnar: The district administration has started the eviction drive to clear encroachments in Munnar and Devikulam areas. A massive cross structure and a number of temporary sheds that had come up on revenue land would be cleared first in Pappathichola, where more than 300 acres had been encroached in the guise of spiritual tourism.
Prohibitory orders have been clamped in the area fearing resistance from locals to thwart the eviction drive, being carried out by a team led by the Devikulam additional tehsildar.
Some locals also tried a put up a blockade of vehicles to prevent the authorities from reaching the spot. The authorities used earth-movers to remove these vehicles.
Major encroachments to be cleared first
As part of the drive to clear encroachments in Munnar, directions had been issued to evict major encroachments before focussing on the smaller ones.
The decision was taken by district collector G.R. Gokul after discussions with Devikulam subcollector V. Sriram on Wednesday. Sriram would submit a list of major encroachments to Gokul within a week.
Revenue minister E. Chandrasekharan too had given the go ahead in an uncompromising manner. The district administration had been told to take adequate security precautions for the eviction.
Since the processing of title-deeds is in progress, there was a shortage of employees for the eviction drive. Gokul had brought the issue to the notice of the revenue secretary and sought more staff for expediting the eviction drive.
Tehslidars had been told to submit a report of those who had encroached land at places like Pallivasal, Chithirapuram, Pothamedu and Lekshmi and constructed resorts and cottages.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called a high-level meeting to discuss the eviction on Friday. Gokul would apprise the meeting of the details of the encroachments in Munnar. Gokul had decided to cancel the title-deed of Munnar Gate Hotel on the Munnar-Peppara route. The district collector would submit a report on the recent attack by CPM workers on Land Protection Force and revenue officials who were deployed for evicting encroachments in Devikulam within two days. The revenue department would also continue the procedures of processing the land documents in Munnar region.
The mass contact programme at Devikulam taluk will be held at the Munnar Panchayat Community hall on April 25.