It seems the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is facing more trouble over its proposed international cricket stadium at Pampayimoola near Edakochi here.
The Ernakulam District Registrar on Friday slapped a notice on the cash-rich cricket body to either pay up the 75 per cent relaxation on registration and stamp duty it got for owning the land or face revenue recovery proceedings.
The KCA will have to remit nearly 2.49 crore towards the registration and stamp duty charges for purchasing nearly 23 acres for the stadium project. The District Registrar issued the notice based on the United Democratic Front government’s decision cancelling the previous government’s order waiving registration and stamp duty charges.
The KCA’s ambitious initiative has been mired in a controversy from its beginning, especially after environmentalists opposed reclamation of the mangrove-rich region for constructing the stadium. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had rejected clearance for the project based on reports that the region is part of Vembanad lake, a Ramsar site.
An expert report prepared by the Ministry’s Bangalore office had pointed out that the site remains a wetland included under the National Wetland Conservation and Management Programme. Land reclamation, building bunds, disturbing the natural course of sea water, destruction of mangroves and construction or developmental activities are prohibited in the area.
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had also initiated steps against KCA officials for alleged irregularities in the purchase of land for the stadium. The Forest Department had also shot down efforts by the KCA to revive its stadium project by carrying out a fresh environment impact assessment at the site.
KCA secretary T.N. Ananthanarayanan said that he was yet to receive the notice and hence not in a position to comment.