'No Hidden Agenda behind Move to Prepare Cadastral Maps'
Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) chairman Oommen V Oommen on Thursday has denied any hidden agenda behind the move to prepare cadastral map of the 123 villages mentioned in the Kasturirangan Report and said the exercise is to bring more authenticity to the villages exempted from the ESA zone. Dismissing charges that the move to prepare the new map was to sabotage the draft notification of the Kasturirangan committee, he said the new map would help to pin point the land of each owner in the map.
Responding to the charges made by the High Range Samrakshana Samithi (HRSS) that the time given for providing the data was acutely short, he said the panchayat-level committee had already collected all relevant data for the purpose of submitting before the three member expert panel of the state government a few months ago. They will have to work only a little more on it to fine tune the information. He said the Board has prepared the revised map as per the new draft notification in a record 10 days. The work, which is normally done in six months, was done in slightly over a week’s time, he said.
He said the Biodiversity board had got pat from the Ministry of Environment and Forest for completing the work in a record time. He said the existing map was drawn in a hurry and lacked clarity as it was not up to the mark. The new exercise would bring more clarity to the map, he said.
The new map will contain 11 important information including block number, survey number of the land, sub-division number and owner’s details among others. He said the data has to be collected by the panchayat, Forest, Revenue and other officials. Officials posted in each villages have to look after only that particular village. Dismissing charges that the data had to be submitted by April 19, he said the original date for submission of the data is April 22.
Collector in Idukki has sought a couple of more days which is likely to be considered. The HRSS said most of the days in between would be lost due to holidays including Good Friday.