COIMBATORE: The city corporation has received 1 crore as a special fund from the Commissionerate of Land Administration (CLA), Chennai, to protect government land.
The finance minister had in March announced in the assembly that government lands would be protected. The fund allocation follows this announcement. The CLA has allotted 40 crore in total for the purpose for the state.
While the district received 2.1 crore in total, 1 crore was allotted to the city corporation. The district collector would allocate the remaining money to other local bodies.
The city corporation would use the fund to fence the open space reservation (OSR) lands that were retrieved after clearing encroachments.
The city corporation has been working on identifying and retrieving OSR lands for some time now. The funds released by the CLA would hence come handy. A higher official said the amount would not be adequate to protect all the sites. “But certainly, it will help in a big way to protect the public lands.”
Deputy corporation commissioner Dr M Sharmila confirmed that the fund was being used to set up fences. “Priority is being given to the lands retrieved from encroachers, as there is always a risk of the same being encroached again.”
Another corporation official said only barbed fencing was allowed to be erected with the fund. “The money can also be used to rent equipment, hire manpower and for minor works like installation of boards, marking stones and material required for removing encroachments.” Many of the OSR lands selected for developing Miyawaki forest have got funds to erect fences under the scheme, he said.