Land mafia from outside Kerala has been purchasing farm lands for non-farming purposes across the State since 2000 and it was high time the government checked this negative trend through legislation, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has said.

Mr. Chennithala who toured the district with the KPCC political campaign, Kerala Yatra, was addressing a press conference at Thiruvalla on Saturday.

The KPCC president said diversion of agriculture land for non-farming purposes should not be permitted. However, setting up of environment-friendly industries and other projects was the need of the hour in order to address the State’s development issues as well as unemployment problems.

On the controversial private airport project at Aranmula that required conversion of a vast expanse of the biodiversity-rich wetland and paddy land, Mr Chennithala said the government will look into such matters. He said the UDF government did not have any ‘environmental fundamentalism.’ However, the KPCC chief was evasive when it was pointed out to him the contradiction in his earlier statement on use of farm land for non-agriculture purposes with the stand taken by the UDF government on the Aranmula airport project.

The Kerala Yatra received rousing receptions at Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry, Konni, Ranni, and Adoor.

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