Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Monday that the government would act on the Kovalam Palace issue on the basis of the all-party meeting’s advice.
He told a news conference that concerted efforts were being made by some quarters to mislead the public on the issue. He pointed out that the government issued an order on August 25 which clearly stated that the hotel group (Raviz) should agree to the fact that the Kovalam Palace, its adjacent buildings and premises were owned by the government as per law.
‘’In case of admitting to this fact, the government would consider leasing out the adjacent buildings, roads and part of the land to the Hotel group,’’ he said.
Oommen chandy said that during his previous tenure as the Chief Minister, there had been efforts on the part of the ITDC to claim that the Palace belonged to them. Following this, a case was filed in the court and the Revenue Department issued a GO. When the Leela Group raised objection to the government’s claim, an ordinance was issued. Later, the Act was passed to takeover the palace and its adjacent buildings and land. But the High Court Single Bench’s verdict was in favour of the Leela Group. Later, the Division Bench asked to retain status quo. It was an all-party meeting held in this connection that advised to initiate follow up action, he pointed out.
During the LDF Govt’s time, a committee comprising Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Sheela Thomas, Tourism Secretary V Venu and Thiruvananthapuram District Collector was entrusted to submit a report. Their report was to grant the lease if the hotel group agreed to admit that that the Place belonged to the government. But the then Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan objected to this while Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan approved this position, Oommen Chandy said. He said that the government would convene the all-party meeting only if the Raviz group agreed to the govt’s position.
Referring to the Emerging Kerala, he said Achuthanandan had sent a letter seeking details regarding three projects.
The projects were figured in the 2010 Budget proposals and the Opposition Leader was opposing the projects prepared by his own government, Chandy said.
He hoped that the Opposition would cooperate with the Emerging Kerala conclave.