Kochi, Oct 23 (UNI) The Kerala Government today informed the High Court that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was aware that the land purchased by it in the Merchiston Estate, to set up the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IISST) was ''ecologically fragile''.
An affidavit filed by state Forest and Wildlife Department Deputy Secretary S Raju stated that it was clear from the records produced by the ISRO itself that it knew that the entire 268.872 hectares of the estate in Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram district had been notified as ecologically fragile land, under Section 3(1) of the Kerala Forest (Ecologically Fragile Lands) Ordinance.
The land had been notified as ecologically fragile in view of its biodiversity and flaura and fauna.
The Government also said that ISRO's plea, that it had purchased the land from Southern Fields Ventures Ltd, believing that it was free from any defect in title, was not correct.
The Government filed the affidavit in response to a petition filed by ISRO, challenging the eviction notice, to vacate the land bought by it in Merchiston Estate, issued by the State Forest Department.