KOZHIKODE: The blatant plundering of nature in the name of development is not at all limited to Munnar, feels artist Paris Mohan Kumar. The land grabbers are on a clearing spree in the ecologically sensitive zones in Wayanad fearing that once the focus shifts, their illegal properties would get under the scanner. Sitting in a tiny hut on his 26-cent plot near Pakramthalam in the Western Ghats, Mr Kumar laments about the holes in the system that allows the mighty to grab land at will.
“See, here any person can source tax receipts for any property from the village office,” he says, citing his recent experience. When he visited his piece of land left to nature, to his dismay, he found that it was well fenced by another. Later it was revealed that the act was with the connivance of the revenue staff. The neo-rich from the plains shelling out vast sums get fake documents from them and threaten the poor, saying they possessed the original document, and theirs was fake.
“The local people and the indigenous communities are the victims. Hundreds of acres greenery have been cleared by the land mafia soon after the Munnar operations began,” he said. “All the charming destinations of the earth are under their threat,” he said. He plans a "nature’s nest" in his land with the support of the indigenous communities. Those who want to learn about flora and fauna, express the angst over the killing of nature and to engage in nature conservation activities can come and stay there. “At this age, I don’t need any land. It is for nature,” he says.