The government has finally decided to evacuate the huge land encroachment in Wagamon, Idukki district. The Revenue Department has decided to clear the massive encroachment on 55 acres of land with more than 200 resorts.
In 1988, the land encroachment by Ranimudi estate owners Jolly Stephen and his father KG Stephen had sparked controversies. In 1989, Ranimudi estate owner Jolly Stephen who bought the land in Wagamon had illegally acquired 55 acres of land next to his plot. Later, with the help of some revenue officials in 1994, he forged an illegal land deed for the property and sold it off to many individuals.
However, according to reports, the District Collector said that strict action will be taken against those encroachers and would recommend the government to find the officials who facilitated the move.
The news of land encroachment came to light when the crime branch started an investigation based on a complaint filed by Jolly Stephen’s ex-wife Sherly over a land dispute. All the necessary support for the encroachment was carried out by the then officials of Peermede Taluk and Wagamon officials.
This is not for the first time such encroachments are happening in Kerala. Last year, during an anti-encroachment drive, the government had reclaimed 96.5 acres of land in Munnar and Wagamon while 79 acres of encroached land were reclaimed in Uluppuni in Wagamon, 17.5 acres was taken back at Pothamedu in Munnar. The government was able to reclaim the encroached lands following legal proceedings that began in 1995