Thiruvananthapuram: the State government Monday decided to take over 150 acres of land near a state-run chemical factory in Kollam district in view of the pollution harming local environment allegedly caused by toxic discharge from the unit.
"The decision in this regard was taken in response to the complaints of the local people of environment pollution," Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here.
He said land owners would be compensated and added that the land acquired would be utilised for development activities and setting up IT parks.
The request to take over the land was a long standing demand of the locals, who had already vacated the area years ago due to environmental pollution, caused by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) at Chavara in Kollam, an integrated titanium dioxide manufacturing.
Local green activists had also alleged that water in the area was heavily contaminated with monazite, iron fluoride and magnesium.
They had also demanded that government take steps to check pollution as discharge from the factory was spreading to nearby lakes and would affect aquatic organisms in these water bodies if proper measures were not initiated.
People living in nearby panchayats have also demanded steps to relocate them from the area due to the pollution.
Opposition leader and CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan had recently demanded that government take immediate steps to relocate and rehabilitate residents of Panmana panchayat, affected by pollution.
He had alleged that nearly 1,500 families in a 400 acre area around the plant were suffering from various ailments, including Cancer caused by the effluents discharge.