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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightLDF alleges corruption ...

LDF alleges corruption in Fire Licence issue, walks out

LDF alleges corruption in Fire Licence issue, walks out

Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M)-led LDF, for the second day Thursday, staged walkout from the assembly after government rejected its demand for a probe by an assembly committee into the alleged corruption in reduction of fees for issuing Fire Licence Certficiate to realtors for constructing high-rise buildings.

CPI-M veteran and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan took up the issue as a submission and said while the state suffered huge revenue loss, big realtors benefited through the government decision to reduce the fees from Rs 100 to Rs 20 'per metre sq' for issuing Fire Licence certificate by State Fire and Rescue Service Department.

Rejecting the opposition demand for probe, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, "Government has no intention to reconsider the matter," and added that the opposition was putting hurdles in development.

Explaining the circumstances that led to reduction of fees, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said there were lot of complaints from various sections when the fee was hiked by about 900 per cent.

The decision to reduce the fee was taken after consulting officials concerned, including IPS officer DGP Jacob Thomas, then Director of Fire and Rescue Service, who was later shifted as Managing Director of Kerala Police Housing Corporation, Chennithala said, rejecting Achuthanandan's charge that Thomas had opposed the move to reduce the fees.

Chennithala also refuted Achuthanandan's allegation that Thomas, who reportedly has a strained relationship with the government over many issues, was transferred due to his objection to the government move.

Justifying the decision further, Chennithala said, "no fees is charged at all for Fire Licence in Tamil Nadu and in Andhra Pradesh it is Rs 10 per metre sq and Rs 20 in Karnataka."

"Government only rectified anomalies in the fees structure," he added.

After the Chief Minister rejected their demand for probe, the LDF staged a walkout.

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