May 18, 2016 2:48:08 am
The Vigilance Court in Thalassery Tuesday ordered for a quick verification probe by the Vigilance department against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, his Cabinet colleague K Babu, former chief secretary Jiji Thomson and three others regarding the alleged irregularities in felling of trees at the project site of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL).
The three officials arraigned as the respondents are KIAL chairman Chandra Mouly, senior IAS officers V J Kurian and Tom Jose. The court ordered that an FIR should be registered and a verification done based on a complaint that the government had incurred a loss of Rs 30 crore in removing trees from the site.
The complainant, A K Shaji, said the returns from large-scale felling of trees were not credited with the KIAL account. He alleged the malpractice had taken place with the connivance of Chandy and Babu.
KIAL is a PPP model company with private investors having 25 per cent stake. Government agency KINFRA had acquired 1,300 acres of land, which also included a rubber plantation. The complainant said trees were removed in violation of the Land Acquisition Act. The company’s board of directors forged a report of the Forest Ministry to show that the firm had obtained clearance to remove the trees, alleged the complainant.
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