Chandy seeks a balance between development, eco-protection

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Friday that the government would enforce the restrictions on quarrying and on construction of buildings under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.

Replying to a submission moved by V.D. Satheesan in the Assembly, he stressed the need to strike a balance between development needs and environment protection.

“A total ban on quarrying would bring construction activities to a standstill and affect the State’s development. The government has taken steps to enforce the distance norms for quarrying,” he said.

The MLA said the CRZ norms would also be enforced strictly.

Moving the submission, Mr. Satheesan said the eastern parts of the State were witnessing a spurt of illegal quarrying in anticipation of a ban based on the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel.

This, he warned could lead to landslips and other natural disasters. Big buildings violating the CRZ norms were coming up in the coastal regions. Mr. Satheesan urged the government to set up expert committees to study the twin issues and propose solutions.

More LP schools

Minister for Education P.K. Abdu Rabb told P.K.Basheer that alternative schools with enough land would be converted into lower primary schools. Replying to a submission by the MLA, he said teachers in alternative schools to be closed down would be considered for appointment to pre-primary schools, based on their eligibility.

Fake currency

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told the House that the government had issued an order for an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the supply of counterfeit currency in Kasaragod district. Answering a submission by K. Kunhiraman (Uduma), he said preliminary investigation by the Crime Branch had revealed the role of a Dubai- based man in the supply of counterfeit currency of Pakistan origin.

The Minister said four cases of distribution of counterfeit notes had been registered in Hosdurg and Cheruvathur.

PWD offices

Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said regional offices would be set up at Ernakulam and Kozhikode for the architecture wing of the department. In a reply to a submission by K. Dasan, he said the office of the architecture wing at Thiruvananthapuram was overburdened, making redeployment of staff impossible.

Mr. Chandy said the government would consider the proposal to take over the Cooperative Medical College at Kochi and upgrade it to the status of a government medical college.

Earlier, replying to a submission by Hibi Eden, Minister for Cooperation C.N. Balakrishnan said the department was willing to hand over the institution.