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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

Shiver Me Timbers

The CM gives notice to land-grabbers

Shiver Me Timbers
Saibal Das
Shiver Me Timbers
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Demolition man is not a moniker that sits well with Kerala's otherwise low-profile chief minister, V.S. Achuthanandan. But riding roughshod over criticism from detractors in his own Left Front, the CM has set out on a virtual one-man crusade to reclaim public land from encroachers big and small. The rumble of earthmovers was first heard in the misty Munnar hills, 6,000 feet above sea level. The STF headed by the CM's blue-eyed official, K. Suresh Kumar, set the ball rolling last fortnight, razing 20 out of some 200-odd illegal structures in the hill station.

For the first two weeks, even the courts refused to entertain pleas to stay the demolitions. There was even a dearth of earthmovers as revenue officials in several districts put in requisitions. As news of the drive spread, violators began to voluntarily pull down illegal structures across Kerala. In Kochi, collector A.P.M. Mohammed Haneesh invoked provisions of the Land Conservancy and Highway Protection Acts to bulldoze illegal structures on the main MG Road that runs through the heart...
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