Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State committee of the ruling LDF has cleared the long-pending proposal for changes in the norms relating to ecologically fragile lands (EFL).

Briefing reporters after the LDF State committee meeting here on Saturday, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan said the government had been asked to interpret the law in such a way as to ensure that ecologically fragile lands were protected without causing harm to small farmers who have taken up cultivation on the fringes of forests.

Allays concerns

Asked whether the change in norms would not be used by the big players, Mr. Viswan said that the land utilisation pattern was such that ineligible persons would not be able to take advantage of change in the laws.

Asked whether the LDF panel had suggested any ceiling on the extent of land that would be eligible for relaxations under the changed law, he replied in the negative.

The extent would be decided in such a manner that only the small and marginal farmers came under its ambit, Mr. Viswan explained.