Fresh trouble is brewing inside the UDF over the upcoming Emerging Kerala investment meet with a group of UDF MLAs championing the cause of ‘Greens’ and openly demanding that the state government must ensure that all land transactions for Emerging Kerala projects are transparent and according to norms.
In a blog post, greenthoughtskerala. blogspot. in, which was started to discuss ‘Green’ politics, the MLAs demanded that all new projects and investments must adhere to the principle of sustainable growth. “It should be noted that all types of industries cannot be brought to Kerala.
The state has certain geographical peculiarities, and also has a very high density of population. These primary facts should be taken into consideration while we select projects. “The government should ensure that when new investment flows in, no harm is done to Kerala’s bio-diversity, environment and priceless natural wealth,” the blog said. The Green brigade in the UDF -MLAs V D Satheesan, T N Pratapan, Hibi Eden, V T Balram (all from the Congress), M V Shreyams Kumar from the Socialist Janata (Democratic) and K M Shaji of the IUML has come out with their stand at a time when the CPM-led LDF has decided to boycott the investment summit. The MLAs demanded that the Land Reforms Act, the 1980 Forest Act and all laws and regulations aimed at the welfare of the indigenous communities and primitive tribes should be followed in letter and spirit. “No dilution of these laws should be permitted. Land is a precious commodity in Kerala. And the availability of land is also limited. We must ensure that all land transactions for Emerging Kerala projects are transparent and lawful. Public land, whether it be revenue land or forest land, should not be handed over to private investors. The control and the ownership of the land should be with the government,” said the post. Further, it said that all land-related matters must be according to the laws of the land and strict regulatory measures should be incorporated in the basic project plan itself. “If land is being given on lease, very strict lease agreements should be in place. The lease rates should be in proportion with the market value of the said land and it should be renewed annually. The agreement should also ensure that the land is not being used for any other purpose other than for the original project,” the blog said.