All-Kerala River Protection Council leader, V.N. Gopinatha Pillai, has strongly condemned the reported move to demolish the environmentally fragile Kottanadmala hill and Chuttipparamala at Vallana near Aranmula in the name of railway doubling work and construction of a private engineering college.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, Mr Pillai alleged that certain people’s representatives as well as higher level officials attached to the Revenue department, Pollution Control Board and Mining and Geology department were hand in glove with the so-called ‘land mafia’ in this part of the State to demolish the hills, leaving the local residents the victims of the resultant environmental problems.

Mr Pillai said the PCB district engineer and the District Geologist have already granted permission for bulldozing the hills, disregarding the environmental issues and public concern over it.

He alleged that a prominent people’s representative in the district was exerting pressure on the Revenue authorities concerned for granting permission for the hill demolition.

Mr Pillai has called upon the Revenue Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, to immediately intervene in the issue and protect the hills by permitting only environment-friendly development there. He said the promoters of the proposed engineering college should think of setting up the campus without altering the serene environment at the Kottanad hills.

Mr Pillai has called upon the District Collector, P. Venugopal, not to permit demolition of the hills at Vallana in the name of railway doubling work or the proposed private engineering college project in the larger interests of protecting, at least, the remaining hills in the district.

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