Ombudsman for Local Self-Government Institutions M.R. Hariharan Nair has ordered the Kalliyoor grama panchayat secretary to immediately stop construction activities being carried out by a resident of Sasthamangalam by allegedly encroaching ‘purampoke' land and reclaiming a section of Punchappadom near Vellayani.

In an order issued here on Thursday, the Ombudsman also directed the secretary, the second respondent in the case, to take photographs of the construction activities initiated by Sherin Hafeez of Sasthamangalam. The order was issued based on a complaint filed by Kalliyoor grama panchayat member S. Udayakumar and Venganoor resident P.Y. Anil Kumar.

The Ombudsman ordered that immediate action should be taken on the case as it was a public interest issue concerning the Vellayani lake, a source of drinking water for residents of Kalliyoor, Venganoor and adjoining panchayats. The respondents were also directed to appear before the Ombudsman and file statements before February 2. The panchayat deputy director was also directed to issue notices to the respondents and visit the site to take stock of the situation.