Joint inspection held at Panchalimedu over illegal construction by DTPC

Updated - June 10, 2024 10:12 pm IST

Published - June 10, 2024 09:14 pm IST - IDUKKI

The ongoing construction   at Panchalimedu tourism destination in Idukki.

The ongoing construction at Panchalimedu tourism destination in Idukki.

The Revenue and Forest and Tourism department officials conducted a joint inspection at Panchalimedu tourism destination near Kuttikkanam in Idukki on Monday.

According to officials, the joint survey was conducted after the Forest Department objected to the construction works of the Panchalimedu tourist destination under the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC).

According to officials, the construction works were ongoing at Panchalimedu, and there were ₹3.2 crore worth of tourism projects, including a check dam.

Recently, the Forest Department raised objections over the construction works of the check dam, claiming the ownership of the land. The Tourism Department had encroached on over 45 cents of vested forest land and continued the construction works, they said.

After the Forest Department objected, Idukki district panchayat president K.T. Binu submitted a complaint to the Forest Minister.

According to DTPC officials, the Revenue Department took over the land from a private owner under the Micha Bhoomi (surplus land) category and handed it over to DTPC.

Idukki sub-collector Arun S Nair said that the joint inspection was held on Monday based on the sketch submitted by the Forest Department.

“ Based on the Forest Department sketch, the construction works of the check dam is ongoing in the middle of the forest land. However, we need to verify the Revenue Department-owned sketch to find the actual ownership of the land. After the verification, a report will be submitted to the government for further actions,” said Mr Nair.

Kottayam Divisional Forest Officer(DFO) N. Rajesh said construction is ongoing in land, including vested forest land under the Erumely forest range.

“Tourism officials illegally removed four Forest Department’s fixed Jandas (border stones).. The Forest Department has already submitted all documents relating to the land ownership,” said Mr Rajesh.

However, District Panchayat president K.T. Binu said that tourism activities have been ongoing in the area for the past 10 years. “ The Forest Department had not yet raised any objections over the years. But suddenly, they tried to block tourism development,” said Mr. Binu.

DTPC secretary Jitheesh Jose said Panchalimedu is one of the emerging tourism destinations under DTPC in Idukki. “The land ownership-related issue will be resolved with government intervention,” said Mr Jose.

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