Sunday, January 31, 2010

Govt to remove check dams built by Tatas in Munnar

The cabinet sub-committee assigned to study the land grab issue in Munnar has decided to take action for removal of the check dams built by the Tatas allegedly violating rules in the lease agreement.

State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who headed a six-member ministerial subcommittee to study the encroachment issue in the hill station, told reporters the construction of the check dams built by the Tatas had affected flow of water to the hydel reservoirs in the area, which amounted to criminal offence and violation of the lease agreement.

Idukki District Collector would be asked to take necessary action on this, Balakrishnan said after visiting various spots in Munnar Saturday along with his colleagues. The sub-committee findings would be reported to the cabinet next week, he said.

The LDF state committee had Friday extended support to government to evict those who had encroached government land over the years.

Meanwhile, UDF convenor P P Thankachan said in Kozhikode if the ruling Front was sincere in the anti-land grab drive, CPI-M and CPI should voluntarily leave their party offices in Munnar which, he claimed, were built on encroached land.

Kerala High court had recently stressed the need for stern action against encroachments in Munnar while hearing a PIL.

Government had two years ago set up a task force to identify and evict encroachers in Munnar following which hundreds of acres of government land were retrieved and unauthorized constructions demolished. However, the operations came to a halt following complaints from within ruling LDF constituents, CPI and CPI (M), and encroachers.

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