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Kerala pressure weakens Kasturirangan report

New Delhi, Dec 5 ():Kasturirangan report on the eco-conservation of Western Ghats will be a watered down version, on pressure from ruling Congress led UDF ministry in Kerala.

Yesterday, Defense Ministry met Jayanthi Natarajan Union minister for environment, followed by Kerala CM Oomen Chandy and party president Ramesh Chennithala. As it is poll time, the Kasturirangan report will be amended and the 100 odd villages identified as eco-sensitive will be removed from the report.

The church, settlers, and those in illegal quarrying went on a rampage. The 14 districts that house these villages are on a boil. CPM is seeking to capitalize on this discontent.

Kasturirangan report has also affected selling and buying of land in these districts. Despite the claims of the state government that there are no hitches and none will be allowed to stop land transactions in the Western Ghats region, several doubts have cropped up in this regard in the wake of the Kasturirangan report, after a circular issued in 2008 by the Registration Department, which has not been withdrawn nor revised, now proving to be a hurdle.

All land transactions since 2008 are being compulsorily recorded on the basis of these guidelines and recording a description of related given piece of land.

The circular mentions a set of guidelines to be enforced while registering any sale and transfer of land across the state. One of the clauses asks for an affidavit by the land owner, stating that the land is not in an ecologically-fragile area.

The statement must be mentioned in the document for registration, without which the land registration will not be allowed. The clause says that the affidavit of the owner should make it clear that “it is neither an ecologically fragile area nor a forest land or vested forest land.

The State government claims it has told sub registers that property coming under eco-sensitive areas listed by Central government can be registered.

Sub-registrar offices in Idukki district as well as in Wayanad and Palakkad have stopped land registrations in the wake of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests report by the Kasturirangan panel on the Western Ghats.




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