Tension prevails at Cheruthoni

Tension prevailed near the district headquarters at Cheruthoni for some time on Monday when people got agitated over the failure of K. Kasturirangan to turn up for a hearing on the Madhav Gadgil committee report.

A working group headed by Dr. Kasturirangan is now in the process of studying the impact of the Madhav Gadgil-chaired Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report. Dr. Kasturirangan was to meet local people at Government Higher Secondary School, Vazhathoppe, on Monday to ascertain the reasons for their opposition to the Gadgil report.

He was to land here on a helicopter at 8.30 a.m., but as he failed turn up because of bad weather, local people were up in arms, saying the State government was playing truant.

Idukki district has a large number of people, including indigenous tribes, whose ecological conservation is the subject of the Gadgil panel report. With an area of 4,479 sq km, Idukki is the second largest district of Kerala, with rugged mountains and forests.

E.S. Bijimol, Peerumade, MLA, blocked the vehicle of Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph as he was moving out of the guest house, demanding an explanation from him.

Besides the Minister, Member of Parliament from Idukki P.T. Thomas, MLAs, members of farmers’ organisations, and leaders of non-governmental organisations were present to meet Dr. Kasturirangan.

As tension mounted, the police and leaders tried to calm down the people and soon there was an announcement that Dr. Kasturirangan would be arriving on Tuesday. A decision was taken to call for a hartal in Idukki on Tuesday in protest against Dr. Kasturirangan not turning up to hear people’s grievances.

  • Tension prevails near district headquarters at Cheruthoni

  • Kasturirangan will reach the district on Tuesday