THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Devikulam Sub-Collector Sriram Venkitaraman, who was leading the eviction drive against illegal encroachments in Munnar, has been transferred. The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to appoint him director of Employment and Training. He will be replaced by Wayanad Sub-Collector Premkumar. The young IAS officer had attracted the wrath of the CPM and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while leading the Munnar eviction drive.
Devikulam Sub-Collector Sriram Venkitaraman, who was leading the eviction drive against illegal encroachments in Munnar, has been transferred. The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to appoint him director of Employment and Training.Curiously, Sriram was moved out a day after the Revenue Minister stated the government will go ahead with the eviction drive.
The young IAS officer had attracted the wrath of the CPM and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while leading the eviction drive. The decision is also viewed as part of the CPM-CPI stand-off over the Munnar drive. Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan and the CPI had given unstinted support to the Sub-Collector.
The eviction drive had led to a direct confrontation between the CPM and CPI. A host of political leaders led by Devikulam MLA S Rajendran had met Pinarayi against the evictions, particularly the decision to take over a resort that allegedly occupied 22 cents of land in Munnar town.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had expressed unhappiness after the Idukki district administration demolished a cross erected on encroached land at Pappathichola. He censured the officers for carrying out the operation without informing the government.
The CPM-CPI tussle over the evictions reached a flashpoint last Saturday when the Chief Minister convened an all-party meet to discuss the issue, ignoring the opposition of Revenue Minister Chandrasekharan. The meeting was called after an all-party delegation from Munnar met the Chief Minister and opposed the eviction drive against the resort.The government suffered a setback on Tuesday when the Kerala High Court ordered the government to go ahead with the takeover of the 22 cents of land. The order was a moral victory for the CPI.
Sriram got a ‘deserving promotion’: Kodiyeri
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan termed the transfer of Devikulam sub-collector Sriram Venkitaraman as a “deserving promotion”. The government had transferred Sriram as the director of Employment and Training Department on Wednesday. “Government officers should be promoted regularly to keep them motivated. Such things cannot be delayed,” Balakrishnan told reporters in Kumbla on Wednesday. He said the CPM had never demanded the ouster of Sriram. “I am not aware of any difference of opinion with the CPI in this regard,” he said. His “promotion” was a collective decision of the abinet, he said.
Government proves it stands by resort mafia: Chennithala
By transferring Sreeram Venkitaraman, the LDF Government has proved it doesn’t stand by the people but with the resort mafia and land grabbers, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said on Wednesday.
Ramesh told reporters the government is entitled to change officers from any post but Sreeram’s transfer at this juncture when Munnar eviction is taking place speaks volumes of the intention behind it. “Where is the fire and valour of the CPI now?” he asked. He said it has been proved the government is not sincere in clearing encroachments in Munnar. “Whose interests is the government trying to protect? It has to clarify why Sreeram was transferred.”