Weeks after District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth issued a directive to submit a report on the encroachment of 20 cents of land along the old St Augustine’s Road, the officials have failed to respond promptly. According to the documents issued by the Collectorate, it has sought the report twice from the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), tahsildar of Kanayannur Taluk and village officer.
The Collector also confirmed that he has demanded a report from the officials.
“Though a report has been sought, they are yet to comply with the directive,” he said.
But the officials maintained that they are unaware of the encroachment which happened right under their nose.
“Such an issue has not come to our notice. If it does, we will take action,” said Rasheed, Kanayannur tahsildar.
Though the officials reiterated that they were not in the know, the RTI filed in this regard has a different story to tell.
It has been clearly stated that the old St Augustine’s Road has been encroached. It also said the officials have submitted a report stating that the dispute site has been inspected.
In the RTI, the village officer, Ernakulam has also stated that it took time to confirm the encroachment as there was no survey boundaries.
“Besides, it is close to the railway line which dragged the procedure,” it said. RDO K N Raji was not ready to comment.
The encroachment came to the notice of the Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC) members while hunting for the five cents of land based on the announcement by Sports Minister K B Ganesh Kumar.
“The Minister has made a public statement that if any public or private land of about five cents of land is given to the Ministry of Sports, the same will be utilised for developing sports activities for the youth and others of the locality concerned. That is how we tumbled upon this major breach of rule,” said Joe Palocaren, executive member of EDRAAC.