Kerala Govt releases land for ISRO Space Institute

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 21 (UNI) The Kerala government today issued orders for releasing 120 acre of land to the Indian Space and Research organisation (ISRO) for setting up their Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Ponmudi, near here.

In its order the government has asked the District Collector to complete the procedure for providing the land to ISRO by December 31.

As per the order, the government would provide 100 acre of land in Thenur village and another 20 acre in the upper sanatorium at Ponmudi.

Though the government had already agreed to release 100 acre of land in Thenur village, it was delayed following the demand of 20 acre more land by the ISRO in upper sanatorium at Ponmudi.

Later, the cabinet sub-committee, comprising Law Minister M Vijayakumar, Revenue Minister K P Rajendran and Chief Secretary Thomas looked into the matter and approved to give 20 more acre of land with certain conditions.

The cabinet had also decided to provide 20 acre at the upper sanatorium in addition to 100 acre of land offered in exchange of the controversial Merchiston Estate land.

With the government issuing the order, the controversy over the handing of land to ISRO for the past few months has come to an end.

The controversy started when ISRO acquired the Merchiston Estate land from Xavi Mano Mathew. However, the government contended that the land had been classified as Ecologically Fragile Land (EFL) and need to be conserved.

Later, the government promised to give the land. The ISRO officials inspected the land and were satisfied with the location.

UNI

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