Ooty: M. Thiravidamani DMK MLA of Gudalur constituency in Nilgiris has urged the Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court of India to resolve the decades-long controversial Janmam lands issue, which is otherwise known as 'Section-17 lands', in Gudalur and Pandalur taluks involving over 35,000 acres.
In a memorandum submitted to the empowered committee that visited the hills on Monday, Mr. Thiravidamani explained that the major portion of the Gudalur and Pandalur taluks of Nilgiris were Zamindari(Janman) lands under various ‘Jenmis’ such as Nilambur Kovilagam, Naduvathu Mana, Mysore dynasty under Nelliyalam regime etc., The lands were cultivated by small cultivators as tenants. The big plantation estates were also holding larger extents under lease from the ‘Jenmis’.
As part of the Agrarian reforms and to settle the lands to the real tiller of the land, ‘Gudalur Janmam Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari Act 1969(TN Act 24/69)’ was enacted.
While 80,088 acres arecoming under the purview of the Act, nearly one-fourth of the lands were settled by granting’ Ryotwari Patta’ in the initial stages.
But, due to some litigation issues later, settlement process was stalled, he noted. .Due to continuing imbroglio on the 'janmam' lands, the inhabitants of those lands were deprived of basic facilities such as foot paths, roads, electricity connections and transport facilities, he pointed out.
“It is to be noted that the inhabitants in the Janman lands are enjoying the same from their predecessor in the title from time immemorial and cultivating the same under the Jenmis. They are entitled for settlement of the land in their favour as per every parameters,” he mentioned.
He urged the empowered committee to recommend to the statutory authorities and to the apex court to settle the issue once for all to redress the grievance of 21,000 families having stakes in 35,000 acres of ‘Jenmam’ lands, besides taking into consideration thousands of labourers working in the unsettled lands under plantations estates, to save their very livelihood....