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Proud owners:Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan inaugurating the distribution of ownership documents to residents of the Bonavista and Vady colonies of the Kollam coastal areas on Thursday.
KOLLAM: As many as 423 fishermen families at the Bonavista colony-Vady coastal belt of Kollam were given land ownership documents by Labour Minster P.K. Gurudasan at a function organised here on Thursday.
The beneficiaries now own half a cent to two cents of land close to the coast. They had been raising the demand for title deeds for the past fifty years. In 1998, the Fisheries Department decided to give them the title deeds.
The decision could not be implemented for various reasons.
The prime obstacle was that the coastal belt was a Coastal Regulatory Zone area where no construction could be permitted. The present State government took a policy decision to re-examine the issue and gave a directive in this connection to the Revenue Department.
A committee headed by District Collector A. Shajahan and Kollam Tahasildar M. Vishwanathan was constituted.
The committee entrusted the task to the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) to study the implications of the CRZ status.
The CESS report stated that the area came under CRZ-II norms where construction of dwellings could be permitted. Based on the report, the Kollam Corporation gave ‘no-objection certificates' to grant title deeds. The Fisheries and Public Works Departments also followed suit.
The residents were provided title deeds at a pattaya mela in December 2009. The records given on Thursday were tax receipts which show that the title-deed holders were also the registered owners of the land.
Mr. Gurudasan said the giving away of tax receipts were part of a process to bring the unprivileged sections of society into the mainstream. He commended the Kollam Taluk office for its efforts in this connection.
Mayor V. Rajendrababu presided over the function. Kollam Beach North councillor Basil Lal welcomed the gathering.
Tahasiladar M. Viswanathan presented a report. Corporation councillor George D. Kattil spoke.
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