Top Kerala forum urges Guv to return pro-encroachment bill

The bill seeks to seeks regularization of unauthorized structures constructed over 50 years ago

Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: 30 September, 2023 6:44 pm IST
Cultural forum urges kerala governor to block controversial land assessment amendment bill

Thiruvananthapuram: Renowned cultural and intellectual forum, the ‘Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram’ has urged Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan not to give his assent to the Kerala Government Land Assessment (Amendment) Bill-2023.

The Bill is aimed at regularising the unauthorised construction and land defacement activities taking place in the ecologically sensitive Munnar area, Vichara Kendram said in a resolution adopted by its state committee meeting, held on September 27.

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“The land area at Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala is a part of western ghats which is ecologically and environmentally sensitive.”

“The Kerala government has passed the Bill in the Kerala Legislative Assembly on September 14, 2023, which empowers the government to regularize the unauthorized construction and land defacement activities carried out in contravention of the condition specified in the Patta assigned to the land assignees without considering the ecological importance of Munnar area, its land terrain height from the sea level, earthquake, landslide occurrence possibilities, forest and wild life protection laws,” the resolution said.

The proposed legislation seeks regularization of unauthorized constructions made for over 50 years in order to circumvent the Kerala High Court’s direction to settle the land related issues in Munnar area, it pointed out.

Another amendment in the Bill empowers the government to issue permission to the land assignvivekees for rock mining, resort construction, in these ecologically fragile high range lands which may result in the total destruction of the western ghats and its flora and fauna.

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This indiscriminate and un-reclaimable land defacement is the main reason for the ongoing man animal conflict. This proposed enactment may provide an advantageous situation to the owners of the unauthorized buildings demolished by the government in 2007 to claim compensation for their constructions, it cautioned.

The politically motivated intention of the ruling and the opposition parties is evident from the passing of this Bill unanimously by the legislative assembly, it added.

Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram suspects that this proposed enactment is a thoughtfully crafted Legislation with the ulterior intention of petty vote bank and appeasement politics pursued by LDF and UDF for over decades, it said.

Considering all these facts, the Vichara Kendram appealed to the Governor to not give his assent to the Bill, the resolution said.

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