Environmentalists have every reason to rejoice as their five-year legal battle has succeeded in their victory. The owner themselves have demolished the check dams as Kerala High Court’s Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice S Manikumar, upheld, early this month, the Single bench Judge’s directive to Kozhikode District Collector to demolish the check dams illegally constructed on the property of PVR Nature Resort.
Apparently, it is co-owned by LDF MLA P.V. Anwar of the Nilambur constituency. The place is Kakkadampoyil, Koodaranji Panchayat, Kozhikode. The Division Bench dismissed the appeal filed against the single bench’s order. Koodaranji Panchayat was entrusted to go ahead with the demolition if the owners shied away from executing the court order. And the expenses for the demolition are to be borne by the owners.
The owners had moved the court against District Collector’s order to demolish the check dams. Local natives and environmentalists complained that the check dams disrupt the natural water flow in the area.
The earlier court had issued direction for contempt of court proceedings against the District Collector for not taking steps for demolition. Then the Collector issued a strict order; it made the owners move the court with a prayer to review the Collector’s order. The entire battle commenced by K V Jiju, a native of Kokkadampoyil. He filed a complaint in 2018 with the Secretary of the Koodanranji Panchayat. His demand was actions against the dams and the resort.
The High Court order of February 2023 was for the demolition of the dams at the resort and also contempt of court against the Collector for the inaction in proceeding with the demolition of the check dams in the resort built in 2017 at an altitude of 3000 feet above the sea level.
Environmentalists challenged the construction of three concrete dams and an earthen embankment, which lacked proper permission. Because they said that they blocked the natural flow of the water to the Iruvazhinji River, they believe that it is in an ecologically fragile area.
The complaint filed by Murugesan Narendran, planter and industrialist, with the Chairman of the Disaster Management Authority, Kozhikode, demanded the demolition of the barricades due to the possibility of disasters. Barricades hindered the water flow, and they were in the high-hazard zone known for landslides. Jiju’s complaint was filed close on the heels of Murukesan’s complaint.
The CPM-led Left Democratic Front Government, with CPM Supremo Pinarayi Vijayan at the helm, has been shutting its eyes against complaints after complaints against the illegal resort and check-dams of their MLA.
P V Anwar MLA has been in the news before and after the assembly elections of 2021. Because he was reported missing for two months before and three months after the elections, he did not attend the assembly election for months, and his mobile phone was switched off! There was news that he had gone to Africa for business purposes. When the MLA’s absence before the election turned controversial, he posted on Facebook that he was in Africa in connection with the gold mining business. LDF men, lead CPM workers, accorded a mega reception when he returned.
CPM was always busy protecting Anvar, his check dams and his resort; hence Panchayat and Collector had cold feet in taking proper and timely action against the illegal construction. Again, the party was keen to justify him when he was on a’missing spree’ while being a ‘people’s representative’.