The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has served show cause notices on 11 tourist resorts in the Vizhinjam area for violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
The 11 resorts are among the 31 identified by an expert panel of the Coastal Zone Management Authority as having violated CRZ norms, Additional Chief Secretary (Local Self-Government and Ports) James Varghese said on Tuesday. Of the 11, eight are in the area identified for the Vizhinjam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) project.
‘’Although 31 resorts were identified in all, only 11 fall within the jurisdiction of the Corporation. So the Corporation has issued show cause notices as to why they should not be demolished,’’ he said.
The eight resorts have been in the eye of a storm ever since the government planned to acquire the land for the Vizhinjam project. Last month, the CZMA expert panel submitted its recommendations, which said that 31 resorts in the region had come up violating CRZ norms. On their part, the resort owners had charged the government with a witch-hunt.
Ports Minister K Babu said on Tuesday that the government needed the land for connecting two back-up areas for the project. Compensation will be provided for the land, but not for constructions as they exist in violation of norms. The government will also give shape to a Rs 1.4-crore compensation package for the employees of the resorts.
‘’Altogether, in these eight resorts, there are only 50 rooms. Should we sacrifice a big project for their sake?’’ asked Babu here on Tuesday, while announcing that the Vizhinjam ICTT project had obtained environmental clearance from an expert panel of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
According to the government, there are components in the ICTT project which will boost tourism. The major proposal in this regard is a cruise terminal planned at the port. Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said that the port project will, in fact, boost tourism rather than hamper it.