THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The verdict of the Division Bench of the High Court upholding the constitutional validity of the Kerala Forest (Vesting and Management of Ecologically Fragile Lands) Act, 2003, under which 45,000 acres of Ecologically Fragile Land will come under reserve forests of the government, is a milestone in the state’s drive for protection of forests, wildlife, climate and ecology, Minister of Forests and Environment Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said.
“Had the State Government lost the case, the consequences including political would have been grave. Now even if the estate-owners went on an appeal, the verdict of the trial court will naturally give an upper hand for the state,’’ he said, while addressing a gathering of select mediapersons here on Tuesday. The order is going to have a far-reaching impact, he said.
Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan disclosed to Express that he was under tremendous pressure from various quarters while the proceedings of the case were going on in the trial court. “I was monitoring the case on a day-to-day basis since I was aware of the fallout of any adverse verdict, especially when the stakes of estate owners, numbering 56, were very high and were hellbent in protecting their interests at any cost. I took the concurrence of the Chief Minister to go ahead, including permission to bring in a competent senior counsel from New Delhi to lead the case,’’he said.