It was high time the Government took stern action against the illegal land conversion taking place in different parts of the district, said K.K. Royson, former District Panchayat president.

In a statement issued here on Monday, Mr Royson who is also a member of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee said illegal conversion of paddy fields and wetlands have become a common offence in and around Kozhencherry, making a mockery of the official machinery.

Mr Royson alleged that the illegal conversion was taking place with the silent support of the official machinery in the district.

In an open letter to Adoor Prakash, Revenue Minister, the former District Panchayat president alleged that the complaints filed before the responsible authorities regarding the rampant illegal land conversion taking place in and around Kozhencherry fell on deaf ears.

A paddy field near the Government Upper Primary School at Kozhencherry-East, a portion of the Pothaly Puncha at Melukara, and the Kuzivelil paddy fields at Keezhukara have already been converted with the patronage of the land mafia, despite the complaints filed to the Revenue authorities concerned.

Ironically, the officials were found to have been simply issuing a ‘stop memo’ to the culprits in a deft attempt to protect themselves from any disciplinary action, he alleged.

Mr Royson has called upon the Revenue Minister to take immediate steps to initiate criminal proceedings against the culprits and to reconvert the illegally converted paddy field to its original position.

He said Government should invoke the relevant provisions in the Kerala State Paddy Land and Wetland Protection Act-2008 as well as the Land Utilisation Act and take effective measures to check all sorts of land conversion which could adversely affect the environment and ecology of the entire region.

Mr Royson has further called upon the Revenue Minister to take stern action against those officials who have failed to check illegal land conversion in their jurisdiction even after receiving complaints in this regard from the public.

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