The state government has withdrawn four tourism-related projects be showcased at the Emerging Kerala – Global Connect Summit following opposition from various quarters.
The Emerging Kerala Summit, which is planned to attract investment to the state, is scheduled to commence from September 12. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the three-day summit.
The projects that have been withdrawn are ‘Botanical garden and forest lodge’ at Nelliyampathy in Palakkad district, ‘Eco Resort and Golf Course’ at Vagamon in Idukki district, ‘Eco Resort’ at Dharmadam in Kannur district and ‘Eco Resort’ at Elaveezha Poonchira in Idukki district.
Apart from the Opposition party, the Green Brigade, a group of MLAs of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), had opposed these projects stating the construction works would affect the ecological balance of the locations. They even said these were nothing but real estate deals.
Congress leader VM Sudheeran, Justice VR Krishna Iyer and poet Sugathakumari also criticised these projects citing these were to exploit the natural resources of the state.
Responding to this, chief minister Ommen Chandy appointed the chief secretary to further evaluate them and after scrutiny, the chief secretary instructed their withdrawal.
The government has also decided to reduce the land allotted for a gas-based power project at Cheemeni in Kannur district to 200 acres following opposition. Earlier 1,620 acres of land was earmarked for the project. Opposition leaders had said 100 acres was enough for such a project.
Besides, it has dropped proposals to set up resort hotels at Devikolam and Peerumedu in Idukki district , and also the proposal to lease out Chandrashekharan Nair Stadium at Thiruvananthapuram for 15 years for setting up a global exhibition centre.