Moolampilly Monitoring Committee was formed to review progress of rehabilitation scheme
The Moolampilly Monitoring Committee (MMC) entrusted with reviewing the progress of the implementation of the rehabilitation package for families evicted for rail-road connectivity of the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal has failed to live up to that mandate going by its record since its inception.
The committee is chaired by the District Collector and has members drawn from the Moolampilly Coordination Committee, which has been anchoring the protest of the evictees, local bodies, Revenue Department, KSEB, Kerala Water Authority, environmentalists, and political outfits. Supposed to meet every month and submit timely reports to the Revenue Department, MMC observed it more in breach with meetings held far less frequently.
The last meeting was held on February 13 last year though not holding it thereafter could be attributed to the outbreak of the pandemic. However, the meetings were irregular even before.
“The committee has so far met only 18 times since it was formed on February 6, 2011, at a meeting under the stewardship of then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The first meeting of the committee was held at the District Collector’s camp house five days after its formation,” said Francis Kalathungal, general convener, Moolampilly Coordination Committee.
Initially, the committee met regularly and addressed the shortcomings cited in the implementation of the rehabilitation package. But gradually, it became highly irregular, and months, even years passed between two meetings. Mr. Kalathungal said that MMC served its purpose during the tenure of Sheikh Pareed as District Collector but was held only once during the term of M.G. Rajamanickam before somewhat rejuvenated by his successor K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla.
“It is a defunct body that never met during crucial junctures and the assurances given went largely unfulfilled. It wasn’t possible to hold the authorities concerned to their word when months separated meetings. The bureaucracy that marked the body was indifferent to the sufferings of people and felt the issues raised were old. But for the ones who lost their homes, it is not an old issue when they are still suffering,” said C.R. Neelakantan, a member of MMC.
He accused the committee of having done nothing despite the Public Works Department certifying that some of the rehabilitation plots on reclaimed land were unfit for constructions.