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Kerala govt to take strict action against land grab by church

According to the minister, stringent action would be taken against the illegal land deal and encroachments and the fishermen families will be rehabilitated to a suitable location. 

Published: 09th February 2020 06:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2020 06:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government will take strict action against extensive encroachments made by Amalothbhava church committee under Latin Catholic diocese at Adimalathura seashore near Vizhinjam, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan has said. 

District Collector K Gopalakrishnan has also handed over a report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the same. Earlier, the church committee had sold square plots of puramboke land on the shore to a hundred-odd fishermen families by accepting money without any documents. Though the district administration had intervened with the help of the police to evict the fishermen, the fishermen strongly resisted the move.     

According to the minister, stringent action would be taken against the illegal land deal and encroachments and the fishermen families will be rehabilitated to a suitable location. “The government will rehabilitate the fishermen families. We will not tolerate these encroachments. The church committee should not challenge the government. If any natural disaster takes place, the blame will be on the government. So we will take appropriate action.

The revenue report has been handed over to the Chief Minister. Further steps will be taken after discussing with the Chief Minister”, Revenue Minister told mediapersons on Saturday. As per the district collector’s report, the diocese had sold plots to 266 families and encroached 11 acres of land including half-acre revenue land. Apart from the government land, the church had also tried to implement an illegal water supply scheme at the spot. The other finding is that the church was also trying to construct a convention centre on the encroached land. 

The alleged illegal activity by the diocese came to light  after the Kottukal village office issued an order prohibiting the construction activities on the shore. The village office had earlier noted that the vast puramboke land has been divided into several plots by constructing walls. The order was also sent to Adimalathura diocese vicar Fr Melbin Soosai to stop all the activities at the shore. However, the vicar replied to village office that the diocese is not involved in any kind of illegal measures and they have allowed the construction of houses 400 metre away from the coastline which is permissible. 



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