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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 11.30 AM IST

Order to convert 364.39 hectares of land in Chinnakanal into reserve forest frozen; action after CPM protest

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IDUKKI: The government has frozen the preliminary notification issued by the forest department to declare 364.39 hectares of land in Chinnakanal village as reserve forest. The government's action came after CPM and MM Mani protested against the notification. Minister AK Saseendran informed that further action related to the Chinnakanal reserve forest has been frozen.


The Minister said that a meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary today to discuss the preliminary notification to declare the lease expired land in Idukki district which was leased to Hindustan Newsprint as the Chinnakanal Reserve.

According to the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023, passed in August this year, forest land converted for non-forest purposes before December 12, 1996 does not come under the purview of the Forest Protection Act. On November 30, the Supreme Court had directed the central government to prepare a detailed guideline in this regard. Therefore, if any forest land in the Chinnakanal area is converted for non-forest purposes before the said date, it will be protected under law. In the letter sent to the Collector, the Minister said that no further action was required and it was decided to stop the further action regarding the notification.

MM Mani MLA had come out against the declaration of 364.39 hectares of land in Chinnakanal as a reserve forest. He said the notification would not be accepted. Mani clarified that the notification will stay in the pockets of the ones who issued, it and should be withdrawn and no action should be taken on the notification.

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