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Court Orders Immediate Stop to Construction of CPM Offices in Idukki

The Kerala High Court issued a decisive order on Tuesday, putting an immediate halt to the construction of the CPM’s party offices within the picturesque Idukki district. This verdict emerged from a special bench dealing with land-encroachment cases in Munnar. The court’s directive was explicit: the district collector is to ensure the cessation of party office construction in three specific locations—Udumbanchola, Bisonvalley, and Santhanpara.

Furthermore, the court stated that the district collector has the prerogative to enlist police assistance to enforce this order. The District Police Chief, too, received a mandate to guarantee adequate protection for the involved authorities during the execution of the directive.

V D Satheesan, leader of the opposition, vociferously contended that the construction of the CPM’s area committee office in Santhanpara flagrantly violated the Land Assignment (LA) Rules of 1964. He asserted that the construction should be dismantled and that legal action should be taken against all those who transgressed the law.

The Idukki District Congress Committee echoed these concerns, alleging that the office’s location in Santhanpara lies within a land zone classified as the Cardamom Hill Reserve (CHR). Even constructing houses or labor quarters, colloquially termed ‘layam’, is prohibited in this zone, as per a governmental order issued in 2020.

The village officer previously issued a stop memo, halting construction activities at the Santhanpara site due to the existing regulations. However, the CPM disregarded this directive and persisted with the construction of the structure.

A closer examination of documents obtained under the Right to Information Act by Bijomani, the general secretary of the District Congress Committee, revealed that the ongoing four-story building’s erection violated the LA Rules of 1964 by lacking a necessary non-objection certificate (NOC) from the Revenue Department. Notably, the construction at Santhanpara occupies an eight-cent property registered in the name of CPM district secretary C V Varghese.


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