The former deputy tahasildar MI Ravindran, who once became a much-hated man in Idukki district and had to face charges of creating bogus title deeds, has reasons to be both happy and sad.
Happy because the decision to regularise the round 430 title deeds that have earned the name of Ravindran pattayams is absolving him of the charges levelled against him; but sad as he had to unnecessarily bear the cross for two decades of cooking up documents for nearly two decades.
Ravindran told Pennews that he was waiting to speak out once the regularisation was made as he was unnecessarily harassed by the authorities.
He said that in 1999, he was transferred and authorised to issue the title deeds that were readied on the basis of orders by the District Collector after land assignment committee meetings vetted and passed the deeds. “I myself attended three such land committees,” he said, adding that he did nothing on his own and everything was as per records.
All have records and registers and in some cases they have been lost as they were taken for official purposes and found missing.
In case the records, as claimed by a section, were bogus, it was not just he, but the Collector, the local legislators, some of who have already got benefits, and other senior officials who were equally responsible, Ravindran asserts.
Moreover, he sees a political game in the whole exercise. Clearing of deeds was not a one-time activity. It should be on a case-on-case basis after proper assessment. But political fronts announce the disbursal of such title deeds under a `pattaya mela’ as it is to target vote banks.
Moreover, he says that many of the politicians, who have drawn benefits of such title deed regularisations and disbursals, have misused the land allotted. It is for the government to find this and fix things, he adds, knowing fully well that both fronts would not do it.
On the ecological impact of such regularisations, he says that it could be severe. The land assigned is often used for different economically profitable ventures. Nothing is done to check this or take back such misused land. The floods indicated of the things to come, but authorities refuse to learn as vote banks matter more are of more importance, he added.