THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major setback to the administrative committee of the Pallichal panchayat, the Director of Panchayats has recommended the government to appoint an officer to take action to terminate the licences of illegal quarries functioning in Mukkunnimala as the panchayat failed to do so.
The Director of Panchayats in his report recommended action as per Section 190 of the Panchayat Raj Act in which the government can appoint an officer such as the District Collector to carry out an action plan when the president and secretary of the panchayat fail to deliver the same. The report was submitted when the administrative committee of the panchayat remained insensitive even after the performance audit officer recommended to revoke the licences of illegal quarries.
The performance audit officer had conducted an inquiry following a petition filed by the people of Mukkunnimala who had been leading an agitation for sometime against the functioning of the illegal quarries. Panchayat administrative committee violated norms in granting permission for the quarries. The sanction has been granted even when the quarry owners did not submit proper documents, the report is learnt to have said. “The recommendation was to revoke the licences granted to some quarries functioning at Mukkunnimala,” said Panchayat Director in-charge A Sayeed. The recommendation includes an environmental impact study. The recommendations of the report came out on Saturday when a section of media exposed it.
The VACB in a raid conducted on Aug 16 had found that 35 illegal quarries were functioning at Mukkunnimala.
K Rakesh, president of Pallichal panchayat, said that the administrative committee had taken action as per the recommendation of the performance audit officer.
“We had terminated the licences of two quarries four months ago,” he said and added that he was not aware of the illegal quarries found out in the VACB raid.