Former Forest Minister Benoy Viswam alleged that the UDF government is facilitating the encroachment of forest land. “The UDF is trying to override the Ecologically Fragile Land Act 2011,” said Viswam at a press conference here on Saturday. The CPI leader opined that the government should hire legal experts to safeguard the law.
“If the government is not going to put up a good fight, then the state will lose the ownership of the land leased out to private parties. The encroachers have ensured the services of eminent lawyers from outside the state,” said Viswam.
He came down heavily on the office of the Advocate-General and said that the team had a bad reputation for handling the important cases related to the revenue land. He stated that the Chief Minister should reveal whether the AG and the legal department took an anti-government stand in the EFL Act cases with his knowledge. The hearing of the EFL cases will begin on August 8. The encroachers have approached the court citing the issue of the small-scale farmers.
“The government need not worry about protecting the interest of small-scale farmers as the former LDF government had introduced an amendment for the welfare of these farmers,” he said.