Prepared to cooperate in land holding probe: Kerala firm

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 16 (Calcutta Tube) Harrison Malayalam Ltd (HML), a plantation company that was in the news for allegedly holding excess land, Tuesday said it was prepared to cooperate with any agency for an enquiry or survey.

‘It is alleged that we hold 76,769 acres of land, which is incorrect. According to information published by the government as on Jan 1, 1970, we hold 59,623.50 acres. According to our inferences, after surrendering forest land and selling some of our plantation what we have now is around 40,000 acres. We do not hold an inch of land which is not ours,’ company’s chief manager (legal) V. Venugopal told reporters here.

He said the company never indulged in any unethical practices and has never influenced authorities as alleged by some vested interests.

‘Lot of undesirable things are happening at these places and even arms training was being undertaken. In Chengara alone, 12 people who encroached have died and not even a post-mortem has taken place. Vested interests are behind this false propaganda.’

‘This estate is on perpetual lease for which we pay lease rent. Attempts by the government to take over this were stayed by courts here and the apex court rejected the government’s appeal at the admission stage itself. Our reputation has been affected because of the campaign by vested interests. We reiterate we are prepared for any enquiry and for even a survey if done using the latest methods,’ said Venugopal.

HML, a part of R.P.G. Enterprises, is into rubber, tea and coffee.

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