Kerala

Coastal Zone Management Authority to seek additional information on reclamation of Kochi backwaters

The panel report held the CPT responsible for illegally reclaiming the Vembanad backwaters and the intertidal zone bordering the Bolgatty Island in violation of the CRZ rules.  

The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) plans to seek ‘additional information’ from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the controversial issue of reclamation of Kochi backwaters and the construction of a hotel and convention centre at Bolgatty.

The decision comes in the wake of the Ministry seeking an action-taken report on its sub-committee report, which indicted the Cochin Port Trust and the Authority for the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations and permitting the construction of a hotel and convention centre on the reclaimed land at Bolgatty.

Incidentally, the panel report, which had been pending with the Authority for over five years, was first considered by the Authority in March 2016. Lately, it featured in the meeting held in February this year.

The panel report held the CPT responsible for illegally reclaiming the Vembanad backwaters and the intertidal zone bordering the Bolgatty Island in violation of the CRZ rules. The Port erred in giving an undertaking that the proposed hotel and commercial complexes were port activities though it were only revenue generating activities, noted the panel.

The panel, which also listed the other major major violations on the banks of the lake, had suggested action against the group, which set up a hotel and convention centre on the reclaimed land, for making temporary and permanent constructions in the No Development Zone. It had also slammed the Authority for not giving due importance to the CRZ Notification 2011, while permitting development activities on the banks of Vembanad Lake.

Suneel Pamidi, the Member Secretary of the Authority, noted that the Kerala High Court had not found any illegality in the land reclamation and the construction in the area and had dismissed a petition filed in this connection.

It appeared that the observations of the High Court were not considered by the panel. Hence, the decision to seek information on the evidence/materials relied upon by the panel, he said.

Ashkar Khadar, the counsel for the complainant in the case, noted that the Authority failed to appeal against the single judge’s order in the case in the light of the panel findings. A review petition will be filed shortly in the wake of the panel report, he said.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 7:36:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/coastal-zone-management-authority-to-seek-additional-information-on-reclamation-of-kochi-backwaters/article36492002.ece

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