The pace at which the Pallichal panchayat is moving ahead with the conversion of a natural pond into a swimming pool has increased the apprehensions of the public, even as a case is pending before the High Court. The panchayat authorities are alleged to be speeding up the construction work in a move to complete it before any intervention crops in.
A part of the controversial pond near Vedivachancoil has now been filled up with mud. The authorities are also drying up the pond for carrying out further construction. They are alleged to be moving ahead after the Jalasaya Samrakshana Samithi withdrew the petition it had filed before the High Court and the Lokayukta. However, another case has now been filed before the High Court with respect to the pond.
Local people who preferred anonymity said that the latest pace at which the pond is being dried up and filled with mud shows that the authorities want to complete the project fast, believing that no interference can come once the work is completed.
Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), which has been voicing against the conversion of the pond violating the existing laws, alleged that the panchayat was now undertaking the work in haste only to mislead the people and the court.
Though the panchayat authorities claim to have undertaken a major part of the work, it can be seen that only the mud-filling exercise has been done and no other construction activity has taken place, said K G Harikrishnan, former KSSP state secretary, who belongs to Vedivachancoil. He also refuted the claim of the authorities that the pond is dry. ‘’One can see that the pond is now being dried up using pump for further construction. Moreover, water can also be seen at one end of the pond. All these show that the authorities are spreading mere lies,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Kerala State Sports Council authorities said that they were not aware of any new case being filed before the High Court with respect to the pond. When contacted, Council secretary P S Abdul Rassak said that he was not aware of any new case. ‘’I only have the information that the case has been settled and construction work has started again,’’ he said.
It is also alleged that the political parties have been silenced by the ruling front by offering some favours. If the parties really wanted to preserve the pond, they would not have reached any compromise, several local people said.