Kondadi Koraga Colony Scam: Allottees demand alternate sites
Udupi: The members of Kondadi Koraga Colony demanded the Karnataka Lokayukta to initiate an enquiry in tothe Kondadi Koraga Colony Scam.
Speaking at a press meet held at the Vaikunta Baliga Law College Kunjibeettu on December 1st, Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, President, Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi said that this is the sad story of 23 families of the Koraga Community who have been running from pillar to post to get the possession of the sites allotted to them 11 years ago. Recently, the sites allotted to them have collapsed along with the retainer wall due to poor civil work by the contractor. Now, the applicants are insisting on the Karnataka Lokayukta to initiate an enquiry into the Kondadi Koraga Colony Scam.
The State Government had announced the scheme way back in 2010, for the upliftment of the backward Tribal communities, locally known as “Koragas” The concerned Department identified different Government land for the purpose and ultimately selected 2.61 acres of land in survey no. 229 of Bommarabettu village in Udupi. 23 families of the Koraga Community were selected for this tiny residential colony.
Further, Ravindranath Shanbhag said that on the auspicious occasion of Independence Day in 2011, in the august presence of the District Minister and MLAs, allotment letters were handed over to these hapless backward families.
Ever since, these allottees are running from pillar to post, to take possession of the allotted piece of land but with little success. Even though they knew the Survey number of the allotted land they could not trace out the site allotted to them for 7 years and had to approach the in-charge Officer of the Project on several occasions. There was no road or any other amenities available there.
In 2012, the allottees were informed that the Government had sanctioned Rs 1.5 lakh for levelling the uneven land allotted for this project. It was also reported that Rs 97,000 out of this had also been released by the Authorities. But no work worth mentioning was undertaken on the land.
The Koraga Bandhavas who received the allotment letters approached the concerned Ministers and other people’s representatives several times in this connection apart from approaching the concerned District Authorities, but to no avail. Whenever approached, these dignitaries were only directing the officials to do the needful without even counter checking whether the instructions were followed.
Again in 2013-14, there were reports of the release of a further Rs 3 lakh for the same cause. But the outcome of all these sanctions and releases is little known to the allottees. Again in 2018, Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned and released to provide infrastructure such as road, water, electricity and drainage. But even after two years, none of the amenities have been provided.
In these circumstances, on the basis of the complaints filed by these tribals, the Lokayukta of Karnataka had issued a notice to the concerned officials of the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) asking for an explanation to the complaint received from Koragas. Now, the retaining wall built on the land has collapsed due to poor unscientific civil work. A detailed investigation only shall reveal the complete factual position.
The efforts made by the Applicants in the last two years to get justice
1. On 13th Nov. 2017, when many of the allottees were working in the land allotted at Kondadi, the Chief of the ITDP Ms Lalita Bai and her colleagues visited the area and took some photographs and informed them that the matter would be reported to the DC. But further developments are not known.
2. On 23rd Nov.2017, the then Deputy Commissioner came to the site along with Vishwanath, the Manager ITDP and Engineers. The applicants explained to the DC about the efforts made by the allottees and the expenditure they had incurred for levelling the ground from their own limited funds. The DC then promised the applicants that the pending work would be completed in ten days’ time.
3. Even though the Survey Officers from the Govt. Dept. visited the area on 24th Nov.2017 and measured all the land and took details, nothing is known of further progress.
4. On 11th Dec.2017, on enquiry Ms Lalita, Officer, ITDP, informed the applicants that she would enquire and let the allottees know the Developments if any. But then there is no information from her even to this date.
5. On 12th Dec. 2017 when contacted Mr Vishwanath Manager ITDP said that the plots would be marked in just two days. But nothing has happened in the next 18 months.
6. On 20th Jan.2018 when Mr Vishwanath was contacted personally in his office by Mr Ravi, one of the Community members, was very confident that the work had already been completed at their end and that the pending work if any will be completed in a very short time.
7. On 9th March, 26th June, and 27th Nov.2018 detailed letters were written to the Deputy Commissioner explaining that the ITDP office and their staff had become completely docile and disinterested. Copies of these letters were given to the concerned office too. But things did not move an inch.
8. On 8th Jan.2019, when the Office Bearers of the Kondadi Girijan Colony Allottees visited the site, they were surprised to notice the laying of foundation in one of the plots. They were aghast with this development.
9. On 18th March 2019, when all these efforts did not yield any results the Koragas decided to approach the Lokayukta
10. Lokayukta asked for the status report and explanation for the delay in implementing the project.
11. The land measuring 2.61 acres was levelled in three stages unscientifically and two retainer walls were built to protect the sites from landslides. On 21.06.2021, the retainer wall collapsed.
12. Now the site allottees are demanding alternative land.