HC temporarily bans construction above three floors in Munnar

The court was considering a petition filed by the enivronment body ‘One Earth One Life.’ Representative image/Manorama

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has ordered a stay on the processing of building permit applications for those seeking construction above three floors in Munnar for two weeks.

A special division bench on Tuesday imposed the temporary restriction on allocating permits for buildings above three floors (ground plus two) in the nine panchayats of Bison Valley, Chinnakanal, Devikulam, Munnar, Pallivasal, Mankulam, Santhanpara, Udumbanchola and Vellathooval.

The bench comprising Justices A Muhammed Mustaq and Sophy Thomas directed the panchayats to give an explanation as to how the concerned authorities accorded sanctions so far for such constructions, violating an earlier High Court order.

It appointed Adv Harish Vasudevan as the amicus curie.

The State Government should submit an affidavit as to the measures taken by it as part of the disaster management plan for the region and to carry out the recommendations of a social impact study, the court ordered.

Implementing only certain measures
Earlier in April, the Government issued an order instituting a Hill Area Committee to conduct special inspections among others in the Munnar region. The court observed that the authorities are implementing only certain measures and continue to defer the formation of rules in this respect.

The court was considering a petition filed by the environment body ‘One Earth One Life’ to ban constructions and land dealings in Devikulam, Udumbanchola, and Peermade taluks until the determination of the ownership of certain lands there. The court will again consider the case on June 27.

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