GIFT City: residents express concern

Ayampuzha panchayat representatives, who met State government officials here on Thursday, expressed concern over takeover of residential areas for the proposed GIFT City project in the panchayat.

They also conveyed their anxiety over the impact of the project on the environment as well as loss of cultivable land.

Industries Additional Chief Secretary Alkeshkumar Sharma and District Collector S. Suhas assured the Ayampuzha panchayat representatives, led by president Neethu Anu, that people’s concerns would be addressed.

Mr. Sharma said that the project involved building a cosmopolitan city, which would be implemented taking the views of people into consideration.

The District Collector assured the meeting that it would be a non-polluting venture and that the upcoming social impact study would address the concerns expressed by people. He told residents of the panchayat not to be fooled by land brokers or middlemen and to approach the government directly for any clarification.

Protest staged

At the same time, a group of panchayat residents under the banner of Janakeeya Munnetta Samiti staged a protest against the project before the meeting venue in Kaloor. Bijoy Cherian of the Samiti said it was not justifiable to evict farmers and poor people for a venture that would serve the richer sections of society.

He said that more than 270 families would have to be evicted if the present land takeover plan was implemented. Some of these families would be facing the second eviction in their lives because they had been rehabilitated in Ayampuzha after the land takeover for the Edamalayar project, he saidShaju Parappally, member of the panchayat, said that around 95 families would have to be evicted from ward 9, which he represented. He said that there was great concern about the environmental impact as well as eviction of people for the project.

The Global Industrial Finance and Trade (GIFT) City is being implemented as part of the Kochi-Bangalore Industrial Corridor project in which State and Union governments will have stakes.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 12:21:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/gift-city-residents-express-concern/article32748345.ece

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