Tuesday, December 21, 2010

sashi tharoor cricket stadium goes for sixers in latest jairam missile

21 Dec 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Former union minister Shashi Tharoor's Kochi (formerly Cochin) cricket stadium on Tuesday went for the sixers with the Environment and Forest Ministry of Jairam Ramesh ordering action against it for illegally felling all mangroves in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ-1) areas in September in violation of the 1991 CRZ notification.

The ministry's order directs the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority to take appropriate action against the stadium promoters for "apparent violation" of the notification and report back "action taken" within 15 days.

It cracked the whip on the basis of the site report of the ministry's Bangalore regional office on a complaint by NGO Prof S Sitaraman on the illegal constructions carried out by the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) by destroying mangroves in the sensitive CRZ-I area of Pambaimoola near Edakochi of Ernakulam district.

The regional office report holds KVA guilty of vioalting the CRZ notification, 1991 "by land reclamation, bunding, disturbing
the natural course of seawater, destruction of mangroves, construction, and developmental activities which are prohibited under the Notification."

The KCA had acquired the site for construction of an international-level cricket stadium, ignoring the fact that there are backwater systems, mangroves and ponds, but it suppressed the fact of existence of the mangroves there. "Photographic evidence shows that till September 3, 2010, there were mangroves at the said site and these mangroves were removed by September 22, 2010," says the ministry's December 21 order.

It noted that the Kerala authority had already issued notice to KCA to stop all constructions whereas the Kerala Forest Department is probing destruction of mangroves in the 23.5 acres of land and a FIR is already registered on September 17 for the forest offence.

The ministry rejected KCA's contention that the stadium site is within the municipal corporation jurisdiction, did not have any mangroves and falls in CRZ-II area where constructions are allowed.


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