Saturday, June 25, 2011

CM gives Munnar land grabbers a fortnight to leave

Thiruvananthapuram: Taking a serious view of largescale land encroachments in Munnar hill station, an all-party meet convened here by Kerala government Friday decided to take strict action against encorachers if they did not leave the illegally occupied land within a fortnight.

Briefing reporters on the outcome of the meet, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the eviction drive would be carried out in a legal and peaceful manner. An environment-friendly master plan would be drawn up for the development of the hill station, whose ecology had been affected seriously over the decades due to largescale encroachments of public land and illegal constructions.

Revenue Minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan had been entrusted with the task of preparing the master plan. The Munnar conservation ordinance promulgated by the previous LDF Government would be made a legislation by expanding its scope. While taking stringent action against land grabbers, the interests of the small-holders and tribals would be protected.

The meet was convened to evolve a political consensus to act against largescale land grabbing, a panoramic hill station on Kerala-Tamil Nadu borders in Idukki district. The LDF Government headed by V S Achuthanandan had launched a vigorous eviction campaign during which several illegal constructions were pulled down and vast swaths of land retrieved. However, fresh encroachment took place after the anti-land grab campaign losing its steam.

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