Tatas’ domination in Munnar should end, says LDF

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (Calcutta Tube) The day-long state committee meeting of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) Thursday asked the V.S. Achuthanandan government to ensure that everything is done to end the Tatas’ domination in Munnar in Idukki district.

Addressing reporters here, LDF convenor Vaikom Viswam said that the meeting has asked the government to make sure that all legal steps are taken to end the dominance of Tatas in Munnar.

‘In some cases it is the Tatas’ rule that prevails in Munnar. There is a parallel administration of the Tatas there, and this has to end and the government has to see that a new township in Munnar solely under the government is set up,’ said Viswam.

Set 2,500 feet above sea level, Munnar is often called the ‘tea town’ of Kerala because it has more than 50,000 acres of tea estates, initially owned by James Finlay and Company. Changing hands a few times since then, it is now with Tata Tea since 1983.

The latest stand-off between the Tatas and the state government began last month after it was found that the Tatas habr built two check dams in Munnar, violating the law of the land.

After the district administration acted tough and gave a show cause notice on why these should not be demolished, Tatas approached the Kerala High Court, which Wednesday ruled that for three weeks the status quo should be maintained.

In a related development, the Idukki district collector late Wednesday night sealed the Devikulam Survey Office after allegations surfaced that the officials there are working for the interests of the Tatas.

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