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Last Updated Thursday March 22 2018 04:10 AM IST

Ministers to visit Munnar over Neelakurinji issue

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Neelakurinji At least eight lakh tourists are expected to arrive in the resort town for the forthcoming season of Neelakurinji. Photo: Onmanorama

Thiruvananthapuram: As part of the government’s move to redraw boundaries of the Neelakurinji reserve, a team of ministers will visit Munnar on December 11 and 12 to hold talks with all stakeholders, including elected representatives.

The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday didn’t discuss the issue. Though there were expectations that a Cabinet sub-committee consisting of revenue, forest and power ministers will be set up no such decision was taken due to political compulsions.

Though all the three ministers concerned will take part in the talks, it won't be within the framework of a sub-committee.

If a sub-committee is setup, it will get more representation from the CPI. And, if a decision is taken on the basis of recommendations of the CPI, it will have to be approved by the Cabinet. This will be a setback for the CPM and hence it was decided not to form a sub-committee.

According to official sources, revenue and forest ministers will take part in the talks. Since the forest minister belongs to Munnar, he too will participate in the discussions.

On December 11, the ministers will visit the reserve and inspect the area. Detailed talks will be held on December 12. The talks will be attended by the MP, MLAs, revenue additional chief secretary and other revenue officials.

The settlement officer (sub collector) who can take decisions on the reserve will also be present. The government is expecting to reach a consensus after discussions with all stakeholders. Following this, a decision will be taken and implemented by the government. However, the revenue department is planning to go ahead, despite objections, to fix the boundaries of the reserve.

No decisions were taken on removing the revenue additional chief secretary and the Munnar wildlife warden in the meeting held on Wednesday. Sources said that the revenue minister wants the current additional chief secretary to continue for the time being.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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