Govt cancels approval for paddy land reclamationtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Stung by criticism ahead of May 16 Assembly polls, Congress-led UDF government in Kerala Wednesday revoked two orders according sanction to two projects that required reclamation of 'kayal backwaters' and paddy fields after a controversy erupted over it.
The state cabinet has decided to withdraw the orders issued in this regard in view of row triggered by it, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
However, Chandy maintained that the "government has not violated any rules or given exemption to the private promoters of the projects."
"Government has also not permitted reclamation of even an inch of paddy field," he said.
The orders clearly stated the promoters have to implement the projects in accordance with the provision contained in the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008, after getting necessary environment clearance, Chandy said.
The cabinet decided to withdraw the sanction not because there was something wrong in the orders, but due to the row it triggered, Chandy said.
"We do not want a row during poll time," Chandy said, adding KPCC president V M Sudheeran had also recommended cancellation of the orders.
Chandy said the UDF government had only carried foward the 'Metharan Kayal Tourism project' approved by the previous CPI(M)-led LDF government.
Seeking to turn the tables on LDF, Chandy claimed the previous government gave approval without any conditions.
After the UDF came to power, the promoters made several modifications in their original plan and made it an eco-friendly one, Chandy said while justifying the government decision to accord sanction for the Tourism project.
The government has come under attack for its orders issued in the first week of this month which gave sanction to a eco-tourism project in 420 acres of land at 'Methran kayal backwater' paddy fields at Kumarakom village in Kottayam district and for super specialty medi-city project in 47 acres of paddy land at Kadamakuddy in Kochi.
"Government has nothing to hide and everything is transparent," Chandy said.