Ownership of land a bone of contention

The Kochi Corporation will scrutinise the activities undertaken by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) at Rajendra Maidan for its laser show. Replying to a heated debate in the Kochi Corporation council meeting on Thursday, Mayor Tony Chammany said if the authority had undertaken any construction there, legal action would follow. “All legal measures that are adopted in case of an unauthorised construction, including issuance of stop memo, will be followed if the authority had made any constructions there,” he said.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr. Chammany said the corporation had no knowledge of authority undertaking any construction there. Since the councillors raised the issue at the meeting, an official of the local body would inspect the site on Friday. Prior sanction of the local body should be obtained for undertaking any construction in the city. In this case, the future course of action would be decided on the basis of the report of the official, he said.

M. Anilkumar, the CPI(M) councillor, who raised the issue through a resolution, demanded that the corporation should immediately stop the unauthorised construction allegedly undertaken by the GCDA. He also demanded a comprehensive inquiry into the utilisation of funds by GCDA.

K.J. Sohan, chairman of the Town Planning Committee of the Kochi Corporation, said the GCDA had not submitted any documents regarding the construction to the committee. It required the consent of the local body for undertaking any construction in the city, he said.

‘False propaganda’

Affirming its position in the council, GCDA chairman N. Venugopal, who is also a councillor of the Kochi Corporation, said the LDF councillors were unleashing a false propaganda over the laser show. There would not be any physical construction above ground. Multimedia laser and sound show will be presented on a 40ft-tall water wall created at the site. Mr. Venugopal said the Kochi Corporation had no ownership rights on the ground, which was in the possession of the Authority. In his reply, Mr. Chammany said the local body would write to the State government seeking clarity on the ownership of the ground.

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