Other side of Munnar Demolitions
The demolition drive started by the Left Front Government in Kerala is going on in full swing. The media - both visual and print is full of news hailing the LDF and most importantly Achuthanandan who is cleverly using this to settle political scores with his own party men.
Yes, if the land belonging to the Government is encroached, it is the duty of the Government to vacate those people who did this illegal thing. But do you think the way the Government is doing this is the correct way? I don't think so for many reasons.
If someone encroached the land and constructed a hotel/resort, a clever Government should have thrown out the encroacher without demolishing the resort and handed over the control of the resort to some Government agencies - in this case to Kerala State Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC)) or to some third party. Thus the Government could have made sure that booming tourism industry could never suffer even for a short span. But what did our great Government do? Just to gain some cheap publicity they demolished the entire hotels/resorts built by the encroachers. The result - see the Deepika News below.
For those who cannot understand Malayalam the news in a nut shell is as follows: "The tourists who come to Munnar these days are not getting any hotels to stay and are forced to go back the same day".
Only one genuine industry that was seeing growth in Kerala during recent times was tourism. Now with these shortsighted, publicity stunt from the Government, I fear that Kerala will start seeing downward trend in this industry also.
Now the tourism minister has announced on May 21st that a master plan for tourism development will be prepared within 4 months for Munnar. Let us hope this master plan will see the light of the day at least by the time next assembly elections comes in Kerala. By the time all the tourists coming to Munnar they would have found more beautiful places outside Kerala and Kerala's tourism industry will plummet to new lows. But who cares?
Now have anyone thought about the people working in those hotels/resorts. Most of them should be very poor people. Demolishing these buildings in such a hurry could have put a big question mark on their life. Most of the encroachers may be rich but what about the poor people who work there? Again if the Government just threw out the encroachers without demolishing the structure these people would not have lost jobs.
Last but not the least; we have seen a trend with the communist party to make harsh comments against judiciary when a judgment goes against them. Their party leaders have even claimed that judiciary is following an "agenda of globalization" when few verdicts went against the party. Now when the Court gave a verdict supporting eviction the party whole heartedly welcomed the verdict, once again proving that communist party in Kerala is allergic to criticism of any kind.