THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the government is walking the tightrope on Minister Thomas Chandy’s issue, the minister’s company Water World Tourism Pvt Ltd has come up with advertisements in all major newspapers, including CPI mouthpiece Janayugam, clarifying the allegations against the minister on the encroachment issue. In the advert, the company’s MD Mathew Joseph said some media houses were trying to sully the image of Chandy even after the allegations against him were proved to be baseless. Moreover, it claimed the Collector did not mention encroachment of even an inch of land by the minister.
On the issue of setting up a buoy in Vembanad Lake, the ad said it was meant to check weed overgrowth. However, it was depicted as encroachment, the company said, and claimed it had been issued a ‘no objection certificate’ by the Inland Waterways Authority of India. On the Valiyakulam Zero Jetty Rd, the company claimed several paddy farmers had benefited as a result. Moreover, the company said no land was filled for car parking and the land which had been filled was done so on the basis of a request made by the Paddy Field Committee.
The clarification from Water World comes at a time when the Alappuzha Collector’s report, details of which are now out, reveals the Water World Tourism owned by Chandy had violated all norms of Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008 and Kerala Land Conservancy Act 1957.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had summoned Chandy on Tuesday and reportedly filled him in on the Collector’s findings relating to gross violations. It is learnt the CM had told Chandy of the grave situation.
Meanwhile, Revenue Department sources alleged the attempts made by Chandy to prove everything was done in a proper manner and no encroachment took place had been in vain. They were of the view these will not help the minister and action will have to be initiated against him.