Kerala to seek amendments in Coastal Regulation Zone Act

Kerala to seek amendments in Coastal Regulation Zone Act
Thiruvanathapuram, Apr 23: Kerala government today said it would seek amendments to the Coastal Regulation Zone Act brought by the Centre, taking into consideration the difficulties faced by people, including fishermen living in the coastal belt.

Minister for Information and Culture K C Joseph told reporters after a cabinet meeting that the difficulties of people in these areas were discussed in detail and it was felt that changes are needed in the CRZ act due to the special circumstances in coastal regions.

"Cabinet is of the view that changes are required in the act in view of the special circumstances prevailing in the coastal areas of the state", he said. Joseph said the cabinet would hold a meeting with the people concerned to work out steps to be taken in the matter. On the proposed Rapid Train System for Kerala from Thiruvananthapuram to Chenganur, he said the Mumbai Vikas Corporation that prepared the preliminary feasibility study had submitted its report to the cabinet.

As per the report, the estimated cost of the first phase would be about Rs 3,300 crore, he said and pointed out that there was no need for land acquisition for the project as it was planned on the existing double track. Resource mobilisation for the project would be discussed, he said, adding a proposal to implement the project in joint venture sector also would be considered.

Taking serious note of the huge number of files pending in the secretariat, he said cabinet had given shape to have an intensive file-clearing drive. Files pending for three years would be disposed as per law and rationale within 100 days, he said. Joseph said government had also expressed dissatisfaction over 'slow' disbursement of wages to workers under National Employment Guarantee Scheme by the nodal agency State Bank of India, he said.

Though government had deposited Rs 387 crore with SBI on Apr 9 last, the bank had disbursed only Rs 175 crore, he said. "It was a mistake and lapse on the part of the Bank". Government would consider appointing more banks as nodal agencies for disbursement of wages under the scheme in view of the difficulties faced by SBI, he added.

On the amicus curiae report on the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple assets and properties, he said government has no comment to make at this stage as the matter is now pending in the Supreme Court.


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