Wednesday, September 7, 2011

News Article: Kerala: Officials asked to examine old survey documents

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

Posted on Aug 06, 2011 at 11:04am IST

KOLLAM: The Tahsildar has directed the officials concerned to verify the resurvey documents of Buckingham Canal and the adjacent plot with the documents of earlier surveys. The resurvey was conducted in 1996.

Tahsildar A Girija told ‘Express’ that the encroachment of the canal puramboke land could not be detected in the present survey when verified with the resurvey conducted in 1996 and a detailed study was to be conducted.

The residents had blocked the construction of a compound wall, which visibly encroached the canal and partially blocked the water flow. The land is owned by one Abdul Rasheed, proprietor of Royal Mark, a company which had obtained necessary permissions to construct a three-storied apartment on the plot.

Following protests from residents, Abdul Rasheed had filed a request to survey the land and fix its boundaries.

‘Express’ had pointed out in these columns about the stark contrast in the total area of the canal in the surveys conducted in 1980 and 1996. A major portion of the canal was encroached upon during this period.

The present survey was conducted only on the canal plot adjacent to the land owned by Abdul Rasheed, while a detailed survey of the entire canal puramboke land has to be conducted to analyse the extend of reclamation activities at the canal.

Canal referred ‘drainage’: The Town Planning Officer’s permission, obtained by Abdul Rasheed for the construction of the apartment, refers the canal as a ‘drainage’. The copy of the permission submitted to the Village Office, along with the request for resurvey, was accessed by ‘Express’ and found that it directs the party concerned to construct a side wall to protect the ‘drainage’.

On the anomaly in directing a private party to construct a protection wall for a canal owned by the government, the tahasildar said that the matter would be looked into.

Protection of canal: Canal Protection Council member Antony Patrick said that the canal and the adjacent ancient cemetery were part of the colonial history of Thangasseri and had to be protected. ‘’Only the Thangasseri Fort has been declared a protected monument by the Archaeology Survey of India. The cemetery and the canal should also be brought under the Archaeology Department,’’ he said.

District Collector P G Thomas said that steps would be taken to protect the canal. He said that he would look into the long-pending proposal for rehabilitation of the people living on the cemetery puramboke land.

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