Kodagu DC Annies Joy

By P.T. Bopanna

Kodagu DC Annies Joy (in picture) should look into reports of irregularities in the sale of Jamma lands in Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka.

According to reports, revenue officials (tashildars and assistant commissioners) were exercising ‘arbitrary’ powers to effect the sale of Jamma lands.

Though there was no provision for the sale of Jamma lands, unique to Kodagu, a controversial amendment was introduced when the present Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah was the Speaker to gain political mileage.

This reporter is signatory to a petition before the Karnataka high court seeking the quashing of the Karnataka Land Revenue (Third) Amendment Act. Since the matter is still pending before the court, there is need for exercising caution in effecting arbitrary powers in the sale of Jamma lands.

When the amendment was passed, this reporter had brought it to the notice of the then Governor Hans Raj Bharadhwaj, the malafide intention behind the legislation. The Governor did not sign the Bill. Instead, the Governor referred the Bill to the Centre. Subsequently, there was much lobbying to get the Presidential assent.

Through these columns, I have brought it to the notice of the present DC how paddy fields were being converted into housing layouts at Mallambatti on Virajpet-Madikeri highway and at Hathur on Virajpet-Gonikoppal road. But no action seem to have been taken.

A previous Kodagu DC had indulged in corrupt land deals and the high court had sought action against him.

This reporter is of the view there is need for a comprehensive amendment to bring clarity on Jamma lands and proper documentation of rights to enable cultivators to avail bank loans. However, free sale of Jamma lands will be a death blow to the indigenous people and their culture which revolves around their ainmanes (ancestral homes) located on jamma lands.

There is need for transparency in the transactions involving jamma lands and the DC should take the people into confidence. This is the only way to prevent an ‘Assam-like’ situation developing in Kodagu.

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7 Responses

  1. K..SHRIDHARA says:

    Coorg and J and K State previously enjoyed certain provisions in land dealing.
    But with Article 370 gone anybody capable of investing, maintaining and developing land can purchase land in J and K.
    Now in Coorg lot of estate trees uprooted, and landscape damaged. Most of their kids out of Coorg, even abroad.So with conditions,land must be allowed to purchase only for coffee plantation or for the purpose it serves.

  2. Aiyappa says:

    Jamma land should not be allowed to be sold to protect the environment and heritage. Corrupt officials involved in this scam.

  3. K B Ganapathi says:

    Why only blame officials when the land owner himself is corrupt. He who intentionally wants to convert jamma land and sell the same to land sharks should be held responsible. Now it is easier to convert and sell jamma land. Earlier they had to get consent from the family members. Now you don’t need consent. It would be best NOT to convert Jamma Land so the community roots are preserved for the future generation.

  4. Bachamada bhavi says:

    Administrations should be punished with great effect from judiciary…corrupt officials starts from revenue department fear of legal outcome..

  5. Ponnanna says:

    Time has changed people have changed land laws have changed.So selling properties which are in their name should not be an issue.It happens world over. development has to take place. We cannot stay behind with too much restrictions.

  6. Pavitha says:

    One can not say that the jamma land can’t be sold! Certain circumstances arise when the sole owner has no choice,but selling it to a Kodava who has an intention to continue the legacy of plantation should not be stopped.

  7. changappa says:

    Why not? big planters want to maintain their supremacy. that is the reason they don’t want other poor kodavas to prosper!

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