When will we learn: Kerala HC on check dam owned by LDF MLA

Source: newindianexpress.com

KOCHI:  The Kerala High Court on Friday expressed its concern at the delay in demolishing the check dam co-owned by LDF MLA PV Anwar in the context of the devastating landslide near Nilambur, wondering ‘When will we learn?’ The check dam in Cheenkannippalli region of Kakkadampoyil hill, Nilambur, is located just 10 km away from Kavalappara, where a massive landslide swept away an entire village last week.

The High Court also directed the Malappuram district collector to demolish the check dam to ensure free flow of the natural stream. The expense for demolition will have to be borne by the check dam’s owner. The court further ordered that the district collector along with officers of the Irrigation, Mining and Geology departments should inspect the area during the time of monsoon.

One of the petitions was filed by T V Rajan of All Kerala River Protection Council (AKRPC) seeking to demolish the check dam as it was constructed violating all norms and rules. Anwar’s father-in-law and the check dam’s owner C K Abdul Latheef filed the second petition challenging the district administration’s decision to demolish it.

When the petitions came up for hearing, AKRPC counsel Daisy A Philipose submitted that water has accumulated in the check dam following heavy rain. Though the High Court had directed to pull down the structure completely, only one side was demolished by the authorities. This could trigger another major landslide.

State Attorney K V Sohan submitted there was no imminent danger in the area and necessary steps would be taken to drain the water as per experts’ advice. The court orally directed the government to examine whether there was accumulation of water and whether it would affect the soil.