Mangalore: Meet on Patrao land issue inconclusive

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The Hindu

He has been given two days’ time for final decision



MANGALORE: The meeting to find a solution to the impasse over the acquisition of farmer Gregory Patrao’s land by the KIADB remained inconclusive here on Thursday.

The meeting, which was called to “give justice” to Mr. Patrao’s family, was attended by Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP; head of the Kemar Math Eesha Vittaladasa Swami; head of the Pejawar Math Visvesha Tirtha Swami; Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj; officials of the district administration; representatives of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. and social organisations.

After discussing various technicalities, it was proposed that Mr. Patrao and his family be allowed to live temporarily on the 6.99 acres of land where his house stood (before demolition on April 28) so that the family could harvest the standing paddy crop and then vacate the premises after the monsoon. The family could be rehabilitated in a shelter acceptable to them. When Mr. Kateel asked Mr. Patrao what kind of justice he wanted, he tearfully appealed for the restoration of his land. “I have cultivated the land all my life, and I know no other way of living. I am attached to my land, please let me keep it,” Mr. Patrao said.

The Deputy Commissioner maintained that the demolition had been carried out according to the law, and that if there were any complaints, due legal procedure would be followed.

At the end of the discussion, Mr. Ponnuraj told presspersons, “What Mr. Patrao is asking for cannot be done, we cannot return the land.” However, the district administration would ensure that Mr. Patrao’s family was properly rehabilitated, he said. Mr. Patrao has been given two days’ time to consult his family and decide.


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