Officials' collusion with land mafia alleged
V.N. Gopinatha Pillai, All-Kerala River Protection Council leader, has condemned the reported move to demolish the environmentally fragile Kottanadmala and Chuttipparamala at Vallana, near Aranmula, for the Chengannur-Chingavanom railway-doubling work and construction of a private engineering college.
In a statement here on Thursday, Mr. Pillai alleged that certain people's representatives and high-level officials of the Revenue Department, the Pollution Control Board, and the Mining and Geology Department were hand in glove with the so-called “land mafia” to demolish the hills, leaving the local people the victims of the resultant environmental problems.
Mr. Pillai said the District Engineer and the District Geologist of the Pollution Control Board had granted permission for bulldozing the hills, disregarding the environmental issues and public concern over it.
Mr. Pillai called upon Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan to intervene immediately and protect the hills. The promoters of the proposed engineering college should think of setting up the campus without altering the serene environment in the Kottanadmala.
Mr. Pillai called upon District Collector P. Venugopal not to permit demolition of the hills in the larger interests of protecting at least the remaining hills in the district.