Kochi: The Kerala High Court Thursday issued a notice to the state government and the environment ministry on a plea challenging the clearance given by the state environmental impact assessment authority (SEIAA) to a private group for constructing a mall in Thiruvananthapuram district.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar issued the notice.
Petitioner M K Salim from Kollam alleged that "massive construction" is being carried out by Lulu International Shopping Mall Pvt Ltd, "virtually abutting" Parvathy Puthanar -- a tidally influenced water body.
He also alleged that the construction site and the adjacent lands around Parvathy Puthanar are 100 per cent marshy land. They fall under the category of wet land, which should be protected and preserved for future generations for conservation of drinking water.
The petitioner also said the construction site is close to very sensitive defence research institutions of the government of India "which are very critical to our national security, like ISRO, Brahmos, Southern Air Command and Civil Aerodromes".
Salim alleged that the SEIAA gave the environmental clearance (EC) to build a huge mall, convention centre, hotel etc. on a carpet area of 2,42,400 sqm, for which it had no jurisdiction.
"Their power to grant EC is only up to 1,50,000 sqm. (Clearance for) anything above 1,50,000 sqm, the Ministry of Environment and Forests alone can grant," he said.