Kochi: A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday upheld the decision of the union environment and forests ministry to close down a controversial mangrove theme park in Kannur.
The ruling was given by a high court bench comprising Chief Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Thomas P Joseph.
The central ministry in July 2010 ordered the closure of the park set up by the Pappinessery Eco-Tourism Society, which is backed by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), for violating Coastal Regulation Zone norms.
The central directive was made to the state government following uproar in the assembly by the Congress-led opposition against the construction works inside the park.
Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan asked the Kannur district collector to take action and the park was closed immediately. Since then the society was engaged in a legal battle.
It was the Lok Sabha member from Kannur and senior Congress leader, K Sudhakaran, who first brought to the notice of the union environment ministry that the entire park area has over fifteen varieties of precious mangroves that needed to be protected.
Sources close to Kannur CPI-M leaders indicate that they are planning to appeal against the verdict.