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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 8.50 AM IST

Govt freezes forest dept order amid concerns regarding Navakerala Sadas and MM Mani's annoyance

mm-mani

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has frozen the initial notification to declare the area leased out to Hindustan Newsprint, and lease term currently stands expired, in Idukki as 'Chinnakanal Reserve'.

Further action on the preliminary notification issued by the forest department regarding the declaration of 364.39 hectares of land in Chinnakanal village as Chinnakanal reserve forest has been frozen. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary yesterday.

Allegations were raised that the notification included 301 Colony, Singakandam, Cement Palam and Suryanelli Settlement. First the Congress and then MM Mani MLA came out publicly against the government action. The decision is based on the assessment that there will be protests when the Navakerala Sadas arrives.

The Forest Department reiterates that only the area leased to Hindustan Newsprint in Idukki district and whose lease term has expired is included in the declaration as Chinnakal Reserve.

According to the Central Forest Protection (Amendment) Act passed in August 2023, forest land converted for non-forest purposes before December 12, 1996 does not come under the purview of the Forest Protection Act. Even if the central guidelines come, settlement officers will be appointed to resolve issues. Minister AK Saseendran said that no further action was required in the letter which he said was sent from the forest headquarters to the district collector.

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TAGS: POLITICS, FOREST, DEPARTMENT, FROZEN, NAVAKERALA, MM MANI
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