Move to allow more quarries smells of corruption: Chennithala

The subject was introduced in the cabinet meeting by Industries Minister as an out of agenda.

Published: 07th September 2019 09:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2019 09:34 AM   |  A+A-

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala engaged in a serious talk with Industries Minister EP Jayarajan before the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Arif Mohammad Khan at the Raj Bhavan on Friday| B P DEEPU

By Express News Service

THE state government surreptitiously allowed quarrying in more areas in the state by amending the the Kerala Land Assignment Rules, 1964, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has alleged. Addressing a press conference at the Cantonment House, he said the state government had clandestinely amended the Rule in the cabinet meeting held on March 3 to allow mining on lands assigned under the Kerala Land Assignment Rules, 1964. He said that was a clear case of corruption and the script to amend the rule was written by keeping the Revenue Minister in the dark.

The subject was introduced in the cabinet meeting by Industries Minister as an out of agenda. The agenda was approved by the Cabinet on the day itself and the government order was issued within 48 hours. However, the cabinet decision to extend the moratorium on crop loans was not taken up by the of f icials concerned, which had later s n o w b a l l e d i n t o a controversy. As per the amendment brought to the Rule, a committee comprising a geologist and agriculture officer can inspect the proposed land and if they found that land was not cultivable but was feasible for quarrying, the committee can submit a report to the District Collector who can in turn give No Objection Certificate for quarrying, he said.

In short, a geologist, an agriculture officer and District Collector together can decide on allowing quarrying in designated places in the state, he said. Though the government order was issued soon after the cabinet meeting, the notification amending the rule has not been issued yet. Though there were a slew of court orders preventing the amendment of rules through executive order, it was not considered while amending the Land Assignment Rule here, he said. The whole episode was held without due process and not taking into account the views of public or political parties or various fronts in the state, he alleged.

QUARRY WORRIES

The state amended the Rule in the cabinet meeting held on March 3 to allow mining on lands assigned under the Kerala Land Assignment Rules, 1964.

The subject was introduced in the cabinet meeting by Industries Minister E P Jayarajan as an out of agenda.

The agenda was approved by the Cabinet on the day itself and the government order was issued within 48 hours.

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