A special meeting of the Coastal Zone Management Authority has decided to entrust the task of flagging the violations along the lake to the Centre for Earth Science Studies.

Nudged by the Supreme Court to act against Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations in Vembanad Lake, the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority has decided to find out who all have transgressed the boundaries.

A special meeting of the Authority held on Wednesday decided to entrust the task of flagging the violations along the lake to the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS). The Authority will submit a report to the court on the steps taken so far on the issue.

Rejecting a Special Leave Petition filed by Vaamika Island (Green Lagoon Resort) in Vettila Thuruthu last month, the apex court judges, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice A.K. Sikri, had noted that the “necessity of effective implementation of CRZ Notifications also requires serious attention at the hands of KCZMA. The necessity of restoring land encroached into the backwaters as well as removing the illegal construction effected in violation of the CRZ Notifications of 1991 and 2011 needs urgent action.”

The court had also asked the authorities concerned to “explain the steps they have taken to implement CRZ, in the lake and Islands as a whole, steps they have taken to restore the illegally reclaimed banks of the lake, steps taken to avert pollution.”

Incidentally, CESS had looked into some incidents of violations during the past few years following specific complaints. However, it had not done an exhaustive assessment of the encroachments and illegal conversion of the water body, which is one of the wetlands of international importance. The data generated by the centre earlier on specific instances of violations will also be incorporated in the statement to be filed before the apex court.

The court had also directed the Authority to report back on the CRZ violations and the steps initiated to curb them within six weeks of receiving its order.

The meeting decided to issue notices to the Panavally village panchayat and the Alappuzha district collector for the compliance of the Supreme Court order for demolishing the illegally constructed resort.

It was also reported at the meeting that the Kochi Corporation had not responded to the notices on CRZ violations identified in Chilavannoor area by as many as nine builders. The meeting resolved to send notices to the district collectors concerned on the violations that have been identified. Though a list of violations and action taken report in those cases were presented at the meeting, it was decided to compile all available information on the infringement of law.

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