After sexy solar scam, shady land deals dog Oommen Chandy government in Kerala. The documents with THE KOCHI POST. reveal that the government sponsored land mafia to make huge profit violating existing rules and regulations. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Report tabled in the Kerala Assembly on July 14 listed 19 major violations by Real estate Mafia in Kochi where Coastal Zone Regulation violations are rampant.
Not Only Robert Vadra linked DLF but also PNC Menon led Shobha developers, Kalyan Jewellers, Joy Alukkas, MA Yusuffali’s Lulu group, and 14 construction companies on the Marine drive- vallarpadom container road violated the building rules to make huge profit.
“Resort and Real estate Mafia constructed building violating CRZ zones and later LSG department or respective corporations and panchayat regularized their buildings. In all the cases violations are notified. But government failed to take action,” said a senior Official in Town Planning Department.
According to Senior Secretary in government of Kerala, Oommen Chandy government has designed a pattern to favour the NRK businessmen who had taken a new avatar in Kerala as real estate dons.
“It’s all done in the name of fast track development. But in most of the cases, the promoters are making money as government keeps a blind eye towards their violations,” said the official.
The Revenue department facilitates large scale filling of wet lands and demolition of hills. The local Self Government bodies regularize illegal constructions, Police department silences the local protests, Industries department promotes conversion of Greenfield into commercial properties.
“Shobha city in Puzhackal in the suburb of Thrissur town, Aranmula airport, DLF flats and Lulu Mall in Kochi are the classic examples of violations. In all the cases, it’s clear that government has protected only interests of the real estate mafia ignoring series of local protests. Now resorts are mushrooming in the Vembanad lake area violating Coastal Regulation zone. But no action has been taken,” said another official who works in Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority.
Supreme Court Green Bench has ordered to demolish two five star resorts in Vembanad lake area. But action is pending,” the official added.
NRK businessmen have cornered the support of both ruling and opposition parties in Kerala and no political parties are interested in fighting them as they sponsor frequent trips to Gulf countries and free hospitality plus a gifts.
According to Advocate Vidya Sangeeth, Member of Thrissur district Panchayat committee , the government and political parties support and protects only the interests of real estate mafia which deep rooted in the state.
Vidya recently filed vigilance case against Chief Secretary Bharathbhushan’s wife Ranjana for misusing her husband’s position to evade stamp duty while selling the 40 cents of the land owned by her in Thrissur town to Kalyan Jewels benefiting Rs 20 lakhs in stamp duty alone .
M.S Jaya, District Collector of Thrissur has issued an order for reducing the fair value of the land to fifty per cent to the total of Rs.4.94 croe.
Vigilance Court in Thrissur directed Director vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau to register the case and investigate. Now the case has been registered against District Collector Thrissur , Additional District Magistrate, Village Officer and Chief Secretaries wife.
“It’s a pity that Chief Secretary himself is misusing his powers to evade stamp duty. His wife K.V.Ranjana has filed an appeal against fair value price of land in 2011. Like her many others also filed appeal before the District collector. But she never appeared before the district collector to present her facts. In 2012 also she had filed appeal. The collector heard the petitions and disposed the matter.
But Ranjana filed an appeal in 2014 after her husband became Chief Secretary and district Collector reduced the fair value of the land to 50 per cent helping her to evade stamp duty. In the order, the collector has said that other aggrieved people who filed appeal were not eligible to take the advantage of the said order. It indicates that the District Collector issued order to benefit the Chief Secretary’s wife and ignored the fundamental principle of justice – all are equal before law. The District collector had done two counts of violation in her case. She had reduced the fair value price reduced arbitrarily and caused loss of exchequer misusing her powers.
Since Ranjana had filed two appeal, her case should not have entertained by the district collector for the third time. It shows the government itself promoting violations of its own rules,” Vidya Sangeeth told THE KOCHI POST.
After filing RTI application for the documents , she has found that her official phone has been tapped by the police. She had filed a complaint to the Inspector General of police regarding this.
“I’m a representative of the people and if I’ve to face intimidation from government for filing a vigilance case against the highest authority in government, what will be the fate of a common man?” she asked.
She had filed several complaints against Shobha developers for converting the wet lands into commercial property.
“Real estate mafia has grips in every political party. They have huge money power and can purchase all including the key government officials. Otherwise how can they convert huge track of wetlands and paddy fields. Even now they are doing it,” She said.
Like her Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan also is very much disappointed. “If Chandy rules for another two more years, there will be no paddy fields left out in Kerala. He will convert all into concrete junkyard and his development agenda is endemic for Kerala,” Achuthanandan told THE KOCHI POST.