The former Forest Minister Binoy Viswam has said that the United Democratic Front (UDF) government showed no political will to take over the lease violated forest land in Nelliampathy Hills in the District.
Addressing press persons here on Tuesday the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader has said that the UDF government is getting the cases in Court defeated by not fighting it properly to help the Estate owners. This shows their class character of helping the rich and the Estate owners.
He said that the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had completed the procedures to take over 11 Estates in Nelliampathy who had violated the forest land lease agreement and the Conservation of Forest Act of 1980. But the UDF government has not taken further steps to take over these Estates. Instead they are trying to return the Estates that were taken over earlier by LDF government.
He said that the Estate owners who never paid the workers due wages and other benefits are now raising the bogey of workers interest to oppose the take over the Estates. If the Estates are taken over the interests of the workers should be protected, he said.
Meanwhile the Forest Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar told press persons here on Tuesday that the Government will follow the law in taking action against the Estates that had violated the lease conditions and the forest laws. There is no question of alienating forest land to private persons, he asserted.