Reports of apartments constructed along backwaters
The district administration will probe the violation of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for construction of apartments along the Kochi backwaters.
District Collector P. I. Sheikh Pareed said that he was yet to receive a detailed report on the violations but made it clear that the district administration will be stern against encroachers.
He said that the authorities will also inquire into reports of encroachment in other areas located near the Kochi backwaters.
Mr. Pareed said that the Revenue Divisional Officer at Fort Kochi had acted against those violating the coastal regulation zone norms.
Revenue and village officials have been asked to invoke the provisions of the Kerala Paddy and Wetland (Conservation) Act 2008 and the Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2011 against the violators.
The Collector said that the district administration had also ensured the restoration of wetlands and paddy fields reclaimed in violation of the rules.
He said that Rs. 3.5 lakh was imposed as penalty on an individual who had reclaimed 50 cents of his paddy field at Piravom recently.
Mr. Pareed said that the district administration has also constituted a squad comprising police and revenue officials to check cases of reclamation of wetlands and paddy fields, destruction of mangroves and other violations of environmental regulations like illegal sand-mining and extraction of soil.
The move was part of the directive issued by the Chief Secretary to Collectors to ensure timely action to prevent violations and to book offenders, invoking the provisions of various rules and regulations.
An official order issued by the Chief Secretary had pointed out that there have been a number of instances of illegal sand-mining and quarrying and large scale removal of soil from paddy fields and other areas across the State.