ALAPPUZHA: With the Supreme Court directing Kerala High Court to hear pleas against Vembanad Lake encroachments on August 8, the alleged illegal constructions of Vaamika Island and Kapico are back in focus. The apex court suo moto urged the state government on August 1, 2013, to report the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations within six months. The CRZ notification 2011 had classified Vembanad, a Ramsar site, as critically vulnerable coastal area (CVCA).
However, 33 percent of the lake has shrunk during last five decades. On Jun 25, 2014, Ratheesh K. R. and Sailan K. of Panavally filed a contempt of court case after the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) and the district administration failed to implement the verdict against the resorts on Nediathuruthu.
On July 25, 2013, a division bench comprising Justices K. M. Joseph and K. Harilal ordered demolition of the resorts built on the private island within three months and stopped further constructions. It extended the time limit for three months on December 10. The group's efforts to get the judgement reviewed also failed.
The district administration had on October 10, 2013, issued notices to Kapico Kerala Resorts on Nediathuruthu Island and Green Lagoon Resort on Vettila Thuruthu Ward 16 of Panavally grama panchayat to demolish their illegal constructions within ten days. But nothing happened.
Following this, a petition signed by MLAs and religious leaders went to the then Chief Minister Ommen Chandy demanding the report to the supreme court be prepared in such a manner that the tourism development of the State is not affected....