The condition of the 70 tribal families of Odangad, Valiyaparambu and Cheethapadu settlements in Kozhikode is no better than other helpless tribes in Kerala. But now, they are facing a threat of being thrown out of their hutments after the government initiated revenue recovery proceedings for failing to repay the loan they availed to bring potable water to their colonies.  Any idea of how much they took as loan? Maximum Rs.20,000! 

 

The  Revenue Department issued revoery notice to the families last week as they failed to repay the loan they had availed from Canara Bank for a drinking water scheme,  in 2012. The bank had given personal loans ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 20,000. 


The tribals say that the bank officials who approached them way back in 2012 had told them that they need not repay the money.   "We have nothing but the hut we live in. I won't be able to repay the amount. We were forced to avail the loan," a tribal woman who got recovery notice said. 

 

"They asked me to give my finger print using a blue ink and said the loan amount need not be repaid. Now they are asking for the money. What should I do?" A tribal woman


"They asked me to give my finger print using a blue ink and said the loan amount need not be repaid. Now they are asking for the money. What should I do?" asked another woman. 


Those who made partial repayment of the loan also got the notice from Revenue Department. The tribals also said the bank entered the payment received under employment guarantee scheme, which was credited to their bank account, against loan repayment. 


However, the bank authorities find fault with the Revenue Department. "Notice was not issued by the bank. The Revenue Department initiated procedures based on papers submitted earlier. This is only a procedural matter," Canara Bank manager said.