Thankamma asks; where should we go after vacating this land
Vellarikundu (Kasaragod): “We are here for more than 40 years, where should I go now after leaving this land” – Nirappel Thankamma who belongs to Athiyadukkam hills shares her sorrow and anger. She was testifying before the Forest Tribunal commission to ensure ownership rights over land. The commission arrived at Athiyadukkam on Monday. The inspection was also conducted in other near by locations.
30 families in the 20 hector area here share the same fate of Thankamma. These families got into trouble as they had no ownership rights over their land. Even people who bought land in 1958, including tribals are facing the same problem. Thankamma migrated to Athiyadukkam from Kottayam Ayarkunnam along with her husband Joseph and children. She bought an area of 2.3 acre land for Rs 3,000.
“Farming is our livelihood” - She explains . They are not able to pay land tax for reasons beyond their reach. Since 2008, the village authorities have not not taken land tax from them. They are not even allowed to avail loans and execute partition of the land to children. “What should we do now?” – Thankamma asks.
The Kerala High Court handed over the case to the tribunal for identifying genuine ownership. Thankamma and other families strongly believe that the report will solve the ownership issues.