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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Forest Minister Benoy Viswom said on Wednesday that the statement of proprietor of Merchiston Estate Xavi Mano Mathew against him was borne out of Mr. Mathew's disappointment over selling of the estate.
The Minister said that Mr. Mathew had taken possession of the estate, which was a notified ecologically fragile land, on March 30, 2005, though his firm Southern Field Ventures had no legal right to buy it from the original owner - Jayasree Tea estates.
Mr. Mathew had also sought to transfer 81.50 acres of that land to the Indian Space Research Organisation. He could have hoped for high value appreciation for his estate when the organisation built helipad and township there at its cost. Mr. Mathew was blaming him now because his hopes had been shattered by the measures taken by him (Mr. Viswom).
Mr. Viswom recalled that he had faced allegations in 2007 that he had tried to help Mr. Mathew with his venture. However, he had only tired to protect government land. “I am sure that time will heal the wounds caused by such allegations.”
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