Controversial projects like mineral sand mining have taken a new avatar through Emerging Kerala summit, said senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran. Addressing the Kerala environment meeting organised by the Kerala Paristhithi Aikyavedi here on Sunday, he said that the project has been given a new name ‘sand processing’ under Emerging Kerala. The Emerging Kerala summit is attempting to promote several controversial projects
which were earlier rejected by the public, he alleged. The administrators too have a role in making the summit controversial, he added. Sudheeran demanded that a scrutiny of Emerging Kerala projects should be conducted by a committee headed by Chief Secretary and officials and environmentalists as members. All development projects should get the clearance of the committee. The Congress leader said that agencies like the Pollution Control Board and KSCSTE had several drawbacks. “The government should ensure transparency in development projects. It is unfortunate that officials who hold some key posts are not affected by change in governments,’’ he said. The state is facing a serious situation with paddyfields, rivers and forests fast disappearing. Drinking water shortage has become acute. Those who express opposition to environmental destruction are being branded as anti-development, he said.
Environmentalists R V G Menon, Sugathakumari, M K Prasad and V S Vijayan addressed the meeting which will conclude on Monday.