Kerala

Files related to CRZ violations by builders, industrialists go missing in Kerala

The SC recently ordered the demolition of five apartment buildings in Kerala’s Maradu municipality, which have come up in violation of the CRZ guidelines.  

Files related to major Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations by prominent builders, industrialist and hotel majors have gone missing, and this has come in the way of taking prompt legal action against the violators.

 

The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) had conceded in June this year that files related to as many as 16 major violations were not available with it. It was on an application submitted by The Hindu invoking the Right to Information Act that the Public Information Officer of the authority conceded that the files on violations were not available with the KCZMA.

With no files related to the CRZ violations in its possession, the authority has not acted on these violations for years together. The Comptroller and Auditor General had also flagged some of these violations in a report released in 2013.

Department change

No action has been taken on these cases since April 2017, the date on which the administrative control of the authority was shifted to the Environment Department, sources confirmed.

 

The KCZMA Public Information Officer suggested that the applicant seek the relevant information from the State Public Information Officer of the Science and Technology Department as the authority was functioning under it till April 1, 2017. On its part, department higher-ups maintained that all the files related to the authority and CRZ were transferred to the KCZMA when it was brought under the administrative control of the Department of Environment. No files related to the CRZ violations of the authority are now pending with the department, asserted a senior official.

It was on an appeal filed by the authority that the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of four apartments at Maradu.

Major names

Some of the missing files are related to the CRZ violations by multi-storeyed apartment complexes namely Galaxy Regent, Elamkulam; Heera Waters, Jewel Homes, Poonithura; Soni Buildcon, Elamkulam; a commercial building constructed by M. A. Yusuffali and Sabura Yusuffali, Elamkulam; Rain Tree Realm Villas, Elamkulam; Galaxy Clifford, Elamkulam; and Abad Lotus Lake, Elamkulam.

The files of CRZ violations by some of the waterfront-luxury hotels, including Crown Plaza, Kochi; Hotel Raviz, Kollam; All Seasons Resort, Kollam; Hotel Fragrant Nature, Kollam; Hotel Vivanta by Taj, Kovalam; Hotel Lake Palace, Thiruvananthapuram; and Hotel Vivanta by Taj, Kasaragod; and a beach resort by Andreas Heitman at Vizhinjam too have also been reported as unavailable with the authority.

Incidentally, the authority had included these 16 cases in its first ever list of “major CRZ violations by private companies/owners” in Kerala. The database, which had altogether 65 violations listed in it, was prepared for answering a question raised in the Lok Sabha. The authority had included the list on the agenda of its 103rd meeting held on June 7, 2019.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 10:09:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/crz-violation-files-go-missing/article29411327.ece

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