Land is the most precious commodity in Kerala and those who have been staunchly protesting against Kerala government’s flagship project K-Rail know it better than any one.
Though a confusion still persists whether Kerala Government has dropped the K-Rail project or not, in a big relief to the people whose lands were surveyed for the project, the Cooperative Registrar in the state has directed all cooperative banks and its associates to accept the land surveyed for K-Rail as collateral if land owner approaches for pledging it.
The direction has been given after Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan promised to look into complaints that the banks were refusing to accept these lands as collateral. In the direction, the Registrar said the land that comes in the alignment of the proposed project can be taken as collateral for loans. The loan should not be denied on the grounds that it was surveyed for the project. However, it’s not confirmed whether nationalised banks and private banks will comply with the direction. Already, there are complaints that many banks had rejected the applications for pledging the said lands for loans.
Soon, a Cabinet meeting will be held to discuss the future course of the K-Rail project after the Union Government delayed final approval for the project.
Earlier, Minister Vasavan had said that the banks, which denied loans, were under the impression that survey stones were laid for acquiring land. He had clarified that the stones were laid for social impact study and the final alignment for the project will be fixed only after environmental impact study and survey.
He also promised that the government would pay four times the market price for the land which will be acquired for the project. The government was also considering to set up a mechanism as done in the case of Kochi Metro Project for speedy disbursal of money for the land acquired.