Wetland destroying under Technopark development: Supreme Court stays

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Supreme Court has blocked an attempt to fill the wetland under the guise of the third phase development of the Technopark in association with the American company Torres. The apex court had sought permission to fill the area, which was recorded as a wetland in documents including BTR, in violation of environmental regulations.

In December 2017, the Technopark authorities sought permission for the third phase of development. The CEO approached the government seeking permission to fill up nineteen and a half acres of land in two areas. According to the State Remote Sensing Anti-Environmental Center mapping, the area covered by the Extreme Biodiversity Area has been cleared for clearance.

Therefore, the Attipra Agriculture Officer ruled that the wetlands could not be filled. Permission was not granted by the local level monitoring committee comprising village officers, agriculture officers, and people’s representatives.

However, despite all the reports, in February 2018, the government permitted to fill the wetland. The order was made based on the law that the land could be altered for public use.

On March 14, 2018, Technopark signed an agreement with the subsidiary of the American company Torres. Environmental activist Thomas Lawrence has approached the court detailing all the violations. The apex court then ruled that the wetland should be protected and that the BTR records could not be amended.

At the same time, it has been discovered that the Technopark itself has cleared one lakh cubic meters of land to prepare the land for the Torres with real estate objectives. It is learned that crores of rupee’s worth of real estate transactions have taken place through this. According to the locals, there is a useful plot of land ten kilometers away from the Pallippuram. Authorities tried to evacuate hundreds of families from the area.

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