The encroachment of prime land of 40 acres by SASTRA at Thanjavur has a past.

Special Correspondent

When the land was encroached first by SASTRA in the year 1995 VK.Jayakodi IAS was the Collector of Thanjvaur District during 1995 to 1997.

On hearing about the encroachment Jayakodi swung into action and immediately issued a notice for lock, seal and demolition. However, after Jayakodi was transferred out of Thanjavur, SASTRA continued the construction illegaly.

But after Jaya’s demise, the reasons best known to the Girija Vaidhyanathan is bent upon to confer the government land to SASTRA and exchange a land to the same extent far away from Thanjavur.

But investigating Journalist savukku reports the land which SASTRA is offering in exchange is also obtained illegally by SASTRA as these are panchami lands belonging to dalits and SASTRA purchased the lands at Rs.20 lakhs per acre.

But then came the twist ., Girija Vaidhyanathan, reasons know to her or under the advice of Gutkah fame tainted Health Minister Vijayabhaskar and GGP TK.Rajendran, hurriedly transferred VK.Jayakodi IAS out of the post of Vigilance Commissioner and posted him as Commissioner of Land Administration.

But, Government sources now say Mrs. Jayakodi, IAS who is well aware of the evil designs of SASTRA has initiated actions that upset the aspirations of both SASTRA and Mrs.Girija.

As a follow up measure Tamil Nadu Prison Department is going ahead with its plan to construct an open air jail at Thirumalaisamudram in Thanjavur district on 58.17 acres of land, part of which was allegedly encroached upon by Sastra University.

While calling for a detailed estimate on the cost of constructing the jail from the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation, the Prison Department intends to write to the Thanjavur Collector to take steps to demolish the buildings constructed on the encroached land, official sources said on Friday.

The open air jail is an ambitious project of the Prison Department, where life convicts who have completed seven years of their sentence would be moved to serve the remaining term in a completely different environment. There would be no boundary wall and prisoners could work as normal people and required return to the barracks only at night.

Going by official documents available the Hindu also confirmed in its report dated 11.05.2018 ., 58.17 acres were earmarked for the jail project and allotted to the Prison Department in 1985.

The Secretary and Correspondent of Sastra University requested the government to alienate the land, which abuts the university campus, to it, and he offered 70.56 acres at Thatchankurichi in Pudukottai district in lieu of the same. However, the proposal was rejected by the government in 1996.

Later, Sastra University allegedly encroached upon 30 acres of land belonging to the Prison Department and constructed pucca buildings there. When the district authorities served an eviction notice, the varsity filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court challenging the eviction proceedings, which was dismissed.

A proposal of the Commissioner of Land Administration recommending to the government that 20.62 acres of land could be alienated to the university by collecting double the market value was also rejected by the government, which took the stand that “if encroached land was alienated to the encroachers, it would become a bad precedent for all such cases.”

The university again took a legal step and based on an interim order of the Madras High Court in April 2017, the proposal of the Principal Secretary/Commissioner of Land Administration for alienation of land to Sastra University was examined and rejected in September 2017.

As the Prison Department prepared to commence work for constructing the much pending open air jail, Sastra University again represented to the Chief Secretary seeking exchange of land, proposing three different parcels of land from its side. However, the proposal was rejected by the Thanjavur Collector. In January, the varsity again offered four parcels of land in exchange and the proposal is pending with the government.

A senior Prison Department official said the proposal of Sastra University for exchange of lands was not within the policy of the government and hence was rejected on several occasions.

“The design and cost of the proposed open air jail is being worked out and we will commence the project soon. The District Collector, Thanjavur, will be requested to evict encroachments on the prison land. We are going ahead with our plan since there is no instruction to delay or defer the project.,” the official said.