Kerala

Panel to prepare environmental plan

A meeting chaired by District Collector A. Alexander on Thursday constituted a special committee to prepare an environmental plan for the demolition of the illegally constructed villas of Kapico Kerala Resorts Pvt. Ltd on Nediyathuruthu Island on Vembanad Lake.

The committee is led by Subcollector S. Ilakkiya and Environmental Engineer B. Biju. The Town Planner, Irrigation Executive Engineer, Public Works Department Executive Engineer, and a representative of the Geology Department are members on the committee. It has been asked to submit the plan in a month. Besides, the Public Works Department (Buildings wing) has been asked to prepare a detailed project report to demolish constructions in the resort.

No explosion

Mr. Alexander said he had received directives to prevent debris from falling into the lake during demolition. He said in view of the fragile ecosystem, an explosion would have to be avoided. A meeting involving the resort owner and experts would be convened soon, the Collector said.

The Supreme Court on January 10, 2020 dismissed the appeal by Kapico against a Kerala High Court order banning the construction of resorts and removal of structures on the backwater island. The court had observed that the constructions violated coastal and environmental regulations.

Although the responsibility of demolishing the structures lies with the Panavally grama panchayat, the local body has sought the help of the district administration citing its lack of expertise and finance to carry out the task.

Kapico constructed 54 villas, a main block, among other facilities, over a period of six years from 2007.

In March 2013, the Kerala High Court ordered the demolition of Kapico resorts along with the illegal structures constructed by Vaamika Island (Green Lagoon Resort) on Vettila Thuruthu, also on Vembanad Lake. The High Court had ordered the removal of unauthorised structures within three months.

Following this, Vaamika moved the Supreme Court. Its petition was dismissed by the court stating that Vembanad Lake was an ecologically sensitive area. While dismissing the appeal filed by Kapico, the court noted that “we do not know how this finding can be held to be applicable only to Vettila Thuruthu Island”.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 6:41:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/panel-to-prepare-environmental-plan/article34330259.ece

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