Ramanandan to head Munnar mission

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V.S. Achuthanandan says the government will go ahead with the Munnar eviction drive.
V.S. Achuthanandan says the government will go ahead with the Munnar eviction drive.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet on Wednesday deputed K.M. Ramanandan to head the Special Task Force for operations against encroachments and unauthorised constructions at Munnar and nearby areas in Idukki district.

The Cabinet inducted Survey Director S. Raveendran also into the task force. Idukki Collector Asok Kumar Singh and Inspector-General of Police Rishi Raj Singh will continue in the force.

Briefing presspersons on the decisions of the weekly Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the government was for carrying on with the Munnar mission on a strong footing. Mr. Ramanandan was being appointed as Additional Commissioner for Land Revenue. The incumbent T.M. Gopala Menon would be appointed as Director of Panchayats.

Tom Joseph, who is returning from deputation to the Centre, would be appointed Secretary (Public Works). Gnanesh Kumar would be given additional charge of Parliamentary Affairs and Railways. S. Prasanna Kumari would be appointed as Director of Homeopathy.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had not discussed allocation of land to the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology. (The Chief Minister had visited Ponmudi for an on-the-spot study of the issue).

Mr. Achuthanandan said the repair of roads in the State was progressing well. The Cabinet had reviewed the ongoing work and considered the reports of the Ministers in charge of the work in each district. There would be another review shortly and the repairs would be completed in time.

He said that complaints about the poor quality of the work done had not come to his notice. Work on the Venduruthy bridge in Kochi would be resumed. Discussions would be held again with the Malaysian company Pati Bel in two days on resuming the works under the Kerala State Transport Project.

He said that differences persisted between the Centre and the State on the construction of national highways. Both the present and previous governments had opposed proposals for entrusting the work to private parties on build-operate-and-transfer basis. Further consultations would be held on the issue shortly.

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