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KOCHI: Protest is brewing against the floating of global tenders to run a luxury resort at Bangaram in the Lakshadweep islands and against moves by businessmen from the mainland to purchase islands that are treasure houses of biodiversity, all under the garb of tourism promotion.
Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, office-bearers of the Lakshadweep Scheduled Tribe Welfare Association said this went against the provisions of the Lakshadweep Scheduled Tribe Protection Regulation of 1964.
“The rules were framed to ensure the unique identity and culture of the islanders who have been included in the Scheduled Tribe category and to preserve the limited but precious land and marine resources in and around the group of islands,” said A. Misbah, president of the association.
He said that only native islanders were permitted to own land in Lakshadweep. The resort that was built by the local administration was handed over to a hotel group on a five-year lease, and the lease period was extended each year. The extended lease period expired on August 31. The Lakshadweep administration must take over the resort, Mr. Misbah said.
He alleged that cash-rich businessmen had plans to gain foothold in three other ecologically fragile islands in Lakshadweep.
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