Act amended, illegal Munnar structures to be regularized, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

September 15, 2023

<p>File Photo</p>
File Photo

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Stage is set for regularization of all illegal constructions, mostly commercial, in the fragile Munnar region as the assembly on Thursday passed the amendments to the Kerala Land Assignment Act, 1960, that stood, at least on paper, as a deterrent to brazen misuse of land. As many as 226 illegal constructions have been identified in eight villages in Munnar region and reported to the high court.

The Kerala Land Assignment (amendment) Bill 2023, that was introduced in the current session of the assembly, was passed unanimously on the last day of the session. The bill has introduced section 4a to the existing act that now gives powers to the government to regularize all illegal constructions and misuse of the existing land. The rules in this regard, to be framed soon, will explain which all illegalities will be regularized, and the procedures for regularizing them. Till now, the act permitted the assignees of the patta land to use it only for agriculture, house construction and beneficial enjoyment.

But most of the assigned lands in Idukki district, especially in Devikulam taluk, have been used for several purposes other than these three, and the government had, for political reasons, decided to amend the act, so as to regularize the illegal constructions made by the assignees in Munnar area. Several high-profile violations that are under high court’s scrutiny, including the controversial office construction by CPM at Santhanpara, will now be regularized.

While construction at Santhanpara is progressing, work on the CPM party offices at Bison Valley and Udumbanchola has been completed, which also was undertaken in violation of the existing rules.

Another high-profile violation in the patta land is related to CPM leader M M Mani which is likely to attract contempt of court action. Construction of a zipline as part of adventure tourism at Iruttukanam junction in Vellathooval village, Devikulam taluk, is being carried out in the land in the name of Sarojini Lambodaran, wife of Mani’s brother.

The construction was undertaken by ignoring the prohibitory orders issued by revenue officials and in violation of the high court order of January 21, 2010, applicable to eight villages in Munnar region. This construction will also get regularized now.

Though these are a few ones that have come to the public’s attention, numerous other illegal constructions have been identified by authorities. A scrutiny by the district administration in these eight villages had found that there are as many as 226 illegal constructions.

The decision to amend the Land Assignment Act and rules was taken by a meeting chaired by the chief minister on January 10 this year to “resolve the land issues in Idukki”, bowing to the demands of political parties irrespective of the ruling front or the opposition.

  • Published On Sep 15, 2023 at 06:30 PM IST

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