India Travel
Demolition of illegal encroachments in Munnar continues
May 14, 2007 - 7:48:12 PM

Munnar -, May 14 - A three-member Kerala government team continued Monday with demolition of illegal buildings that have come up on public land in this popular hill station.

The government last Wednesday issued an ordinance empowering it to pull down all tourist resorts built on encroached government or forest land.

The team, comprising Idukki District Collector Raju Narayana Swamy, Inspector General of Police Rishi Raj Singh and Suresh Kumar, an official in Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan's office, has been asked to demolish around 250 resorts in and around Munnar.

Armed with a huge police team, the officials demolished five resorts Monday.

Official records show that about 3,500 resorts have come up in the last seven years.

The team has taken over a 27-acre plot that was encroached upon by BCG Group, a builder who has wide interests across the country. The group was constructing 18 villas on the encroached land and the demolition work on it would begin Tuesday.

Achuthanandan gave the green signal for the demolition as recommended by Revenue Secretary Nivedita P. Haran in his report. After visiting the hill station April 28, Achuthanandan said the town had been destroyed by the tourist resort mafia which had encroached upon forest land.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Achuthanandan's party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, is upset over the tough action taken by the government team on illegal encroachers and its composition may be changed.

A decision is likely Wednesday.

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