Kerala

Illegal constructions along Vembanad coast to be razed

212 buildings have been constructed violating CRZ norms

Local bodies along the Vembanad coast have issued notices for demolishing unauthorised constructions on the no-development zones under the CRZ notification, according to a statement filed by the State government before the Kerala High Court.

The Local Self-Government Department in its statement said that most of the violation of CRZ notifications were seen committed by local people by constructing residential buildings. As per a report of the Deputy Director of Panchayat, Alappuzha, 212 buildings have been constructed, violating CRZ norms in the district. Of these buildings, two are non-residential and others are residential ones.

In fact, the respective panchayats have already taken steps to demolish all these unauthorised constructions and issued demolition notices under Section 235 (W) of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994. The panchayats have been empowered to handle demolition of illegal structures under the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The department, however, said that no expert mechanism or assistance had been provided to the panchayats by the government or other agencies.

The statement pointed out that in Kottayam district, as many as 30 buildings were constructed, violating CRZ notification. The respective panchayats had issued demolition notice to the owners of unauthorised constructions. Besides, the panchayats had been directed to complete the demolition procedure without delay.

As many as 383 buildings have been constructed along the Vembanad coast falling under the Ernakulam district. Of these buildings, five were non-residential ones. The panchayat concerned had already sent demolition notices to the owners of unauthorised structures.

That apart, departmental disciplinary action had been taken against the responsible officials. Action were taken against Y. Jose and Sidharthan, then secretaries of Panavalli grama panchayat in Alappuzha district, for non-compliance of the CRZ notification as per the Kerala Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules. In Ernakulam district, action were taken against K.N. Mohanan and K. Sali, the secretaries of the Cheranallor grama panchayat, a junior superintendent and an LD clerk.

The department also stated that no satellite imagery of the locations around Vembanad Lake had been provided to the grama panchayats. Moreover, only a few panchayats had been given cadastral-level maps.

It also pointed out that the panchayats had not received or utilised funds under the World Bank-assisted restoration project of Vembanad lake. The project was being implemented through the Environment Department.T

The statement was filed in a case relating to the reclamation and pollution of Vembanad lake.

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Printable version | Mar 24, 2020 2:55:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/illegal-constructions-along-vembanad-coast-to-be-razed/article29575616.ece

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