Nation Other News 19 Aug 2017 Kerala: Greens call ...

Kerala: Greens call for data bank on paddy land

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SMITHA N
Published Aug 19, 2017, 1:03 am IST
Updated Aug 19, 2017, 1:03 am IST
Representational image
 Representational image

KOCHI: The Green activists will take up the inordinate delay in publishing the local-level data bank on paddy land as per the Kerala Conservation of Paddyland and Wetland Act. Though the preparation of databank within six months was one of the major election manifestos of the LDF, the government is yet to expedite the works initiated by the previous UDF government. The Green activists are apprehensive over the delay in publishing the databank which will result in massive conversion of paddyland.   “We will take up the issue with Agriculture Minister V. S. Sunil Kumar soon. It is unclear why the government is sitting on the proposal. It will take only five or six months to complete the preparation of the databank,” said Dr. V.S. Vijayan, environmental expert.

“There are hundreds of cases against illegal conversion of paddy land pending with the High Court. Once the data bank is published, the cases can be settled accordingly,” he said. “College students or NGOs can be entrusted with the databank preparation, who can make field visit for final verification of the satellite imagery. If government officials are assigned  the task, it will be delayed further as they will be under pressure from various corners,” he added.

“Though the government has regularised reclamation and conversion of paddyfields taken before 2008, unauthorised filling of paddy land and wetland is still rampant. If immediate measures are not taken to form the databank,  the remaining paddyland in the state will be converted,” said Mr Purushan Eloor, Green activist. Meanwhile, in the progress report published by the LDF government during its first anniversary, it was claimed that publishing the databank has been expedited.  It  has been done in 565 panchayats and the process is underway in 226 others. It is being completed in 128 panchayats, it has been mentioned.

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Location: India, Kerala




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