The state government has been caught between legality and its mission to promote business while dealing with an application for occupancy certificate for a high-rise construction at Thampanoor.
The file had come up in an adalat convened by LSG minister A C Moideen to clear pending applications a few months ago and the corporation was directed to process the application, subject to norms. However, authorities are in a stalemate over a decision to be taken in the wake of pending case pertaining to alleged encroachment of puramboku land and illegal access to the property.
The building owner’s demand for issuing occupancy certificate is backed by a decision of former minister P J Joseph who had issued a special order allowing construction of a path over Amayizhanjan canal to provide access to the property. But, the corporation is yet to issue occupancy to the building – the construction of which is almost complete – as there is a pending case in the high court demanding quashing of the government order. A legal opinion received by the corporation recently has advised against issuing occupancy to the construction until the case at the high court is settled.
The issue dates to 2009 when the department of minor irrigation entered into an agreement with a private party to construct a slab over the Amayizhanjan Canal to gain access to the proposed building in Thiruvananthapuram. The agreement was signed incorporating 14 conditions. Later, the irrigation department in a series of communications reported that the proposed construction was done without complying with the major conditions in the agreement and that demarcation of puramboku land was not done. The irrigation department forwarded the communication to then district collector pointing out violations and requesting steps to assess the puramboku land and to demolish the construction. With the irrigation department raising objections to illegal construction of access, the corporation had cancelled the permit which was later reinstated following a high court order.
Irrigation department had issued an order allowing retention of slab and citing that permission of the construction of slabs with structural stability over drains to interconnect properties without causing obstructions to the flow of water and on conditions to dismantle it at one’s own risk and cost is an infrastructural necessity to provide access for developmental activities. “This is highly essential in making Kerala a global business hub. If at all any thodu or puramboku is involved for the purpose, it will be of minimal extent,” the order issued during the rule of previous LDF government led by V S Achuthanandan said.