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November 2017
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Kerala: Transport Minister Thomas Chandy to face more trouble in Lake Palace Resort case
 
(Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 06, 2017):Things don't seem to be going too well for the Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, after district collector's report has surfaced. The detailed enquiry report submitted to Revenue Minister E Chandrashekharan, confirms the allegations levelled against Thomas Chandy.

The report has now put the minister under more pressure as the opposition parties have intensified their protest seeking his immediate.

The 21-page report submitted by Alappuzha District Collector, TU Anupama, reveals that Lake Palace Resort, co-owned by Thomas Chandy has levelled wet land and paddy field which is against the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wet Land Act 2008. India Today have accessed a copy of the report and here are the major findings.

MAJOR FINDINGS OF THE REPORT

Since 2003 there were major changes in the land pattern of the disputed area. In 2003, small canal and portions of the disputed area were part of an agriculture land. By 2006, the width of the bund started increasing. It's between 2006 and 2013 shrubs and small tress were seen in this land.

It has been found that land leveled prior to 2008 violated the kerala Land Utilisation Act. Till 2012, it was not possible for vehicles to reach the resort by road. But eventually, by the year 2013, paddy land was leveled and an approach road was built till the resort gate.

More land apart from the old bund was levelled and converted to a new bund road. It's now been utilised as parking area. According to the sketch prepared by village officer, in 2014 the canal width was 2.5 meters and bund width was 1 meter. Now, it's 4 to 12 meters wide. The satellite images before and after confirms this.

Since this area is used for parking and protected by security personnel and fences, it cannot be used for agricultural purposes. This is violation of section 3 of paddy and Wetland Reclamation Act.

About 65.8 cents of land has been levelled. A road which was not their 2003 has been widened step by step and has reached the present stage. However, Lake Palace Resort claims that all this were done prior 2008, before the Act came into effect.

The enquiry to reclaim this land using district collectors authority has been completed. A final order can be issued in this regard, after getting satellite data from the government agencies.

By using plastic rope, buoys and iron rods the resort has seperated parts of the lake. The collector has directed the inland water ways to inquire into this and see if this has to be removed.

These are the major findings in the enquiry conducted by Alappuzha District Collector. This will certainly put the minister and government under pressure ahead of the special Assembly session on November 9, to table Solar Commission report.


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