Ooty: Sources in the green organisations here said that nearly 30,000 acres of the controversial the Janmam lands in Gudalur-Pandalur belt in Nilgiris are under the control of big/corporate plantation estates.
Knowledgeable sources added that nearly 11 big time plantation companies and 85 small time firms, the lessees of the original Janmies, are keeping nearly 30,000 acres of Janmam lands, out of the controversial and unsettled 35,000 acres, in their control.
Some of the lands are alleged to be under sub-lease and sub-tenanted over the years. While it was almost a no-man's land for a long time due to the pending litigation, thousands of persons have encroached up to 5,000 acres of Janmam lands.
“It is alleged that the lessees hardly pay any lease amount to government. Development activities and expansion of plantation fields on the Janmam lands were done against the norms. After the court directions giving power to the TN government to decide the fate of Janmam lands, a high power committee was constituted by the TN government a few months ago to find a solution to settlements on the 35,000 acres of unsettled lands in the Section17 area in Janmam lands.
It is learnt that the committee will ask the district administration of the Nilgiris to initiate criminal proceedings against big/corporate plantation estates found to be illegally occupying Janmam lands in the guise of small farmers, to evict them,” sources added....