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Kerala in store for more trouble
In My View

Kerala in store for more trouble

P.C. Punnen

Keralites are in for facing a hitherto unseen issue. The hypocrisy of our parties, the players and the media won't be enough to save us.

The government and the opposition unanimously passed a resolution in the Kerala Assembly knowing well that it won't matter. The builders, the buyers, and government employees in various fields have to pay the price. The chief secretary of Kerala has been summoned by the Supreme Court and it gave a strict warning that he will be in jail if its verdict is not implemented.

The flats in Marad, Kochi which the court said should be demolished will be very shortly done away with. The government has decided to pay 25 lakhs as the first installment compensation to each of the apartment owners as ordered by the SC.

On TV Mr. Harish Vasudevan, an advocate from Kerala, has made two points. According to him there is no law by which the state government should pay the money. For the flats, each resident has paid less than Rs. 25 lakhs, which means that they had to pay the builder a huge amount for their dream flat. This means that the builder and the buyer acted in cahoots with the government employees and the municipal chairman and perhaps the top and local CPM leaders and Congress leaders, and also perhaps, the BJP leaders. That would explain why Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala and the BJP leaders spoke in favour of the buyers. This shows how the event can be managed and is a reflection on the hypocrisy of all political parties without exception. 

The builders are not saying they will pay the government or the buyers their money. Which raises the question of who is to pay the government the compensation if it is paying the buyers? For sure it will be a matter to be decided by the courts ranging from the lower courts to the Supreme Court.  It means the buyers will get a modicum of the money they spent on their houses; in short, the poor taxpayers of Kerala will have to bear these expenses. A reflection on law!

Where from the government, represented by all political parties, will find the money to be paid? Are the builders obliged by any law to repay the government?  These are some of the questions that arise from this situation.

The buyers have generated sympathy but it could also be true that they knew the laws, that the builders violated them fully assured of making money. Caveat Emptor was well known to the buyers. It could have been a common word in our politicians.

Achuthanandan, the former chief minister and the oldest surviving leader of the CPM, said many things true against the buyers, the builders and politicians. The CPI, the second largest party in the coalition that rules Kerala, and the Congressman VM Sudheeran and a few MLAs held the same view.

That means in the whole drama full marks go to the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) and the Supreme Court judges Arun Mishra and MR Shah who delivered the judgment. It will have a cascading effect on Kerala. This could be changed if the BJP government moves an amendment to the laws in the Parliament. No chance for that happening!

That means we Keralites are in for serious trouble, especially the builders who were violating all sorts of laws and who had the support and encouragement of our dear politicians. One hopes the KCZMA will play a key role in Kerala buildings in a majority our districts.

To put it bluntly, we Keralites have to change. We have to obey the rules. It will be a very difficult task for us all irrespectve of our position in society.    

Harish Vasudevan I think , deserves to be quoted . It is for Vasudevan to challenge the SC if he is sure that what the law says, according to articles 141 and 142, are against the state paying 25 lakhs to the buyers. One hopes that he will go to the court.

The grapevine has it that the Congress and the CPM and the BJP are to divided partially on this issue. Party leaders Kodiyeri and Mulapally Ramachandran must clarify.

This brings the question of the CPM which seems divided over Sabarimala and the Jacobite - Orthodox split. Kodiyeri and Pinarayi Vijayan seem to have different views on the subjects. How does the party defend its stand on these issues? It is playing for time. Time will cure everything, it seems to believe.

According to the latest list of major violations compiled by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority there are 66 private companies- owners reported to have committed CRZ violations in the state. Their list of violations include construction of apartments, hotels and commercial buildings. It's a matter for serious consideration. It's high time we as citizens of Gods Own Country acted on it.

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The Facts and views mentioned in the article are that of the author