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Encroached land to be taken over in two weeks

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister promises action against Tata Tea



V.S. Achuthanandan says no need to change STF members.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told the Assembly on Wednesday that the Government would take over the land encroached upon by Tata Tea Ltd. in two weeks.

Replying to the debate on the demand for grants for Heads of States, Ministers and Headquarters Staff, the Chief Minister recalled that

legislature committees headed by Isaq Kurickal and Nalakath Soopy had reported on the encroachments.

As Leader of the Opposition, he had raised the issue of encroachments in the Assembly. However, the then Government had taken no action. “Now, action will be taken. Then you have to congratulate us,” Mr. Achuthananadan told the Opposition.

He said the land taken over from the company on the side of the National Highway was not the land referred to by the legislature committees. Those were encroachment on roadsides.

The Chief Minister said the issue over the demolitions would be discussed and decided by party leaders in the LDF. The Left parties had similar views on the issues.

There were complaints over demolition of a portion of the CPI office at Munnar and notices issued to the poor and owners of bunk shops. As the situation was worsening, he had made a statement that offices of political parties and places of worship would not be demolished. However, general secretary of CPI A.B. Bardhan had intervened. It has been decided that equality before law would be upheld. Accordingly, the directive to exclude places of worship and offices of political parties had been withdrawn.

Replying to questions from the Opposition whether members of the Special Task Force would continue, the Chief Minister said there was no need to change officials who followed Government orders and did their job well. If at all someone had to be changed, the Opposition need not bother about that. They should be examining whether the task was being done.

Refuting Opposition criticism that the Government had diluted conditions on creation of jobs under the Smart City project, Mr. Achuthanandan said the key issue was whether enough workspace for the jobs would be created.The State Assembly passed the demands for grants amounting to Rs.119.63 crore by 78 votes to 32.

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