No action yet on CRZ violations by resort group

The Environment Department has been sitting on a sensitive report, which had listed the reported Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations by Kappico Kerala Resorts at Nediyathuruthu in Vembanad lake.

The development attains significance in the wake of the Supreme Court order on Wednesday to demolish five multi-storey buildings in Kochi for violation of CRZ norms.

The department chose to ignore the report prepared by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) after the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) asked for it. The report was submitted thrice, sources said.

The factual report on CRZ violations was submitted to the Environment Department on August 7, 2018, February 5, 2019, and again on May 4, 2019. The reports were submitted to the department after the MoEFCC repeatedly sought the action taken report, sources said. The MoEFCC directed the authority to consider the application of the group for CRZ clearance afresh following a directive from the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the Division Bench comprising Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice K. Harilal held that the resort had violated the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act 2008 and Wetland Conservation and Management Rules 2010 besides the CRZ notification. The group went in appeal to the apex court against the Kerala High Court order.

It was on a Special Leave Petition filed by the resort group against the order of the Kerala High Court to raze the building that the Supreme Court asked the KCZMA to consider the CRZ clearance application afresh.

The authority, which considered the application, concluded that the apartments had come up in complete disregard of the CRZ regime.

A concise note was submitted listing violations in the construction of the resort to the Environment Department, sources said. Though the resort group said it was eligible for relaxations, the KCZMA found that the arguments were not legally tenable, they added.

The KCZMA meeting, scheduled for Thursday, may consider the KCZMA report as an out-of-the-agenda item.

When contacted, Dr. Usha Titus, Secretary, Environment Department, said she was unaware of the developments.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 6:40:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/no-action-yet-on-crz-violations-by-resort-group/article27074390.ece

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