Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that government land encroached upon by land mafia would be resumed.
Briefing the media after a meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said that he would convene a meeting of political parties with representation in Parliament and Assembly on Friday for discussions on the course of action to the taken against the encroachers. Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan would be specially invited to the meeting.
All political parties were opposed to encroachments and the meeting was to seek their suggestions. The government would take its decisions on evictions of encroachers after the conference. It was not a partisan issue. “The government will not countenance encroachments on any grounds. However, it was not for any unlawful action or demolitions.”
Mr. Chandy said that the Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who had visited Munnar and neighbouring areas on Tuesday, had reported widespread encroachments. The land mafia was using the farmers and tribals as a front.
He said that special task forces would not be required to take action against the encroachers. There were laws and officials to take action. “What is needed is will.”
The Chief Minister said that Kerala was not opposed to giving water to Tamil Nadu from Mullaperiyar. It did not want any quarrel with Tamil Nadu in that respect. Kerala was neither against Tamil Nadu or its interests. However, Tamil Nadu has to accept that the dam built under the 117-year old agreement could not stand for ever. As there were safety concerns, it should agree to re-building of the dam.
Mr. Chandy said that the he himself would lead the discussions for a permanent solution to the issues related to admissions and fee structure in self-financing professional colleges after the Cabinet sub-committee arrives at an understanding for the current year with the managements.
Replying to questions from the media, he said that the government would take action to eliminate the scope for swindling through advance sale of flats and through money chains. Cheating by operators of money chains were increasing and the government proposed to take strong legal action against them. The Director General of Police had been asked to give suggestions for preventive action against cheating by real estate firms.
He said that the national highway authorities had expressed willingness to look for a solution to the problems of local people regarding the toll charged for passage through the Mattancherry Bridge. He would examine the criticism about the nomination of Sunny Alappat to Kochi University Senate if the Opposition Leader raised any complaint with him.
Later, Mr. Chandy handed over Rs. 5000 promised by him to informants who helped to arrest criminals such as chain snatchers. Ramani from Thrissur was the first to win the incentive. She had noted down the number of the motor bike used by a chain snatcher and alerted the police. That had not only led to the recovery of gold chain belonging to the victim but also helped to recover 62.5 sovereigns of gold relating to other cases.