Kerala landslide survivors move HC for better land
A year after a massive landslide decimated a colony of tea plantation workers in Pettimudi in Idukki district, killing 70 persons, relatives of the deceased on Monday moved the Kerala high court with a plea to allot land and houses in live-able areas.
In their plea, they said some of the allotted land and houses were in remote areas without motor-able roads and they need a proper dwelling, which ensures proper commuting and hassle-free life. The high court later sent notices to the state government and Kannan Devan Hill Plantation (KDHP). Most of these employees were working with the KDHP when the tragedy occurred.
Survivors want the government to take over “excess land” occupied by the KDHP and distribute them to the landless. After the mishap, the state government announced that houses will be built for the affected under the Life Mission project. But many inhabitants said most of the houses were situated in inhospitable locations and they find it difficult to lead a normal life.
Tragedy struck Pettimudi on the night of August 6 last year after a portion of the hill came down due to incessant rain, destroying a settlement of tea workers, and people came to know about the mishap only the next day. Some of the bodies were recovered 14 km away from the landslide site. Only 64 bodies were recovered, and last week a special order was issued by the government certifying that missing were also dead.