Thiruvananthapuram: The Government’s second U-turn on the Silver Line issue. It was decided to call back the revenue officers assigned in different areas to buy land for the project and assign them other duties. The decision has been made in the context of a delay in approving the project centrally and the social impact study is uncertain.
This is the next step after the policy retreat that replaced the social impact assessment with yellow pegs after heavy protests and agitation and replaced it with geo-tagging. Meanwhile, government sources indicate that no order has been given to close the cells except for the withdrawal of the officers.
About 205 revenue officers were appointed in 11 areas in connection with land acquisition. They had no substantial work for a year and a half. Their appointment was for one year. After this deadline expired on August 17, the Department of Revenue extended the deadline for another year in September.
The state has 11 units of special tehsildars comprising 18 people each in the districts, with Ernakulam as the hub, a special deputy collector and his office. The land acquisition cells were probably started before getting central permission in the estimation that the social impact study would be conducted in a timely manner and that the land acquisition could be moved towards the project quickly.
However, contrary to the government’s expectations, heavy resistance has risen across the state. The order regarding the withdrawal of officers will come soon. K-Rail explained that no official notification was received in this regard.