The Kochi Corporation will strictly scrutinise applications for building permits for projects that come up in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas, said Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany.

Speaking to media persons here on Thursday in the wake of controversies surrounding the DLF project, Mr. Chammany said that the officials will be asked to refer such files to the Mayor before issuing clearance. The Corporation will not issue occupancy certificate for the apartments in the DLF project following the developments. The local body will wait for the report of the three-member committee appointed by the State government before deciding on the project, he said.

Mr. Chammany held the CPI (M) responsible for issuing permit to the project, which reportedly violated the provisions of CRZ regime.

“I don’t think that an official would singlehandedly take the decision to issue permit for such a mega project. The official might have acted under pressure. The CPI (M) should own the responsibility of the whole deal as the party was heading the civic administration in Kochi when the project was issued clearance. The party cannot shy away from the responsibility of controversial deal,” Mr. Chammany said.

On the unusual speed with which the Corporation officials vacated the stop memo on the project following a letter from the chairman of the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority, Mr. Chammany said that the officials might have acted swiftly following the intervention from the government officials. Mr. Chammany urged the State government to provide accommodation for the urban poor in the buildings that were illegally constructed in the city. There are a large number of homeless people in Kochi and the local body is finding it tough to find land for constructing dwelling units for them. The proposal for accommodating the homeless in such unauthorised structures may not have any legal backing or precedent. However, it is a personal appeal on humanitarian grounds, he said. Some files related to the construction of houses in Chilavannoor area and other city centres were being scrutinised by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, he said.

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