Thiruvananthapuram: CPI-M-led LDF Opposition in Kerala Thursday staged a walkout in the assembly alleging that the government had failed to take effective steps to protect and conserve forest land in Nilambur.
Replying to a notice seeking adjournment on the reported move of auctioning ecologically fragile land in Nilambur by its present holders, both Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Forest Minister K B Ganeshkumar said government policy was to take over forest lands whose lease period had expired and thereby increase the state`s forest cover.
Chandy denied the opposition charge that after UDF came to power, government had lost all cases related to forest land. "Not a single case has been lost.In few cases, court had given stay on take over," Chandy said.
Taking up the issue, K Raju (CPI) said more than 1000 acres, declared as ecologically fragile in 2000, were now being put on auction by the Nilambur Kovillakam Family on the strength of a lower court order.
UDF government failed to protect forest land by not arguing the related cases effectively in courts, Raju alleged.
Before staging the walkout, CPI-M Deputy leader in the House Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said government should examine whether there was any nexus between officials and forest land grabbers in the state.