Protection of public land; Revenue Minister’s proposal gathers dust

When land grabbers are having a full sway in Kerala, the proposal for roping in police force along with the revenue officials has been gathering dust for the past three years with the Chief Minister yet to give the final nod.

The revenue department had mooted the proposal for including police personnel in protecting public land after large scale encroachment was reported every other day. The department had submitted the proposal soon after E Chandrashekaran took over as the Revenue Minister of Kerala. Despite three long years, the proposal submitted to the Home department awaits a nod.

Despite the efforts of the revenue department in curbing the land mafia, the Home department has been sitting on the proposal. The sources said that many of the proposals from the revenue department are yet to see the light with the Chief Minister’s office yet to give the clearance.

The revenue minister had suggested the idea after revenue officials were finding it hard to deal with land grabbers and evict them from public land. At times of eviction, the revenue officials face much resistance from the land mafia, which led to frictions.

The idea of bringing in the service of police force was mooted in the hope that the officials in the revenue department would have no obstacle in handling the land squatters. The officials are often threatened by the land mafia and are challenged locally. The police once roped in would serve as a supportive force to the revenue department as well the district administration, the sources said.

The proposal calls for deploying one company of police force in each district as per the demand. While the force would be under the district police chief, the district administration would be responsible for their deployment as per the need.

As part of the drive against e land grabbers, the government already has Public Land Protection Force that is mainly deployed in Idukki. This force only acts as surveillance team though they have enough powers to evict encroachers. The sources said that the Public Land protection Force seldom gets any support from the revenue officials.


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