Eighteen days after a 49-year-old Nigeria-based NRI businessman took his life, allegedly after his Rs 15 crore state-of-the-art Partha convention centre in Kerala's Kannur was stalled by the Anthoor municipality, the government has directed the local civic body to issue occupancy certificate to the project.
Sajan Parayil had invested about Rs 15 crore and taken one year and a half to build the hall. The local municipality, however, refused to grant him the building occupancy certificate for months.
The Local Self-Government Department has directed the municipal secretary to issue the certificate after violations identified in the structure per the Kerala Municipal Building Rules have been rectified.
Sajan Parayil was found dead in his house on June 18, allegedly due to the way he was treated by the Anthoor Municipality Chairperson PK Shymala, who, at one point, according to Sajan's wife Beena, said that he will not get the clearance as long as she held the post.
Things, however, changed after Sajan's suicide as the Congress-led opposition took up the issue in a big way and the Kerala High Court took cognisance of the incident, seeking all the relevant files be submitted before the court by July 5.
The Kerala government had subsequently suspended four employees of the municipality and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured the Assembly that matters will be sorted out soon.
Now, Local Self Government Secretary TK Jose has directed the Municipality Secretary to see that the occupancy certificate is issued on Monday after ensuring that all the changes sought have been made.
While the government has cracked down on officials, the lack of action against Shyamala is being seen due to the fact that she is the wife of CM's closest aide and party Central Committee member MV Govindan. Sajan was close to another top CPI-M leader in Kannur P Jayarajan and this has been attributed by those in the know of things as the reason for Shyamala's opposition.
The Anthoor Municipality currently does not have any opposition party representative, as all the councillors belong to the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and hence Shyamala reigned supreme.
To mount pressure on Pinarayi Vijayan to act, all legislators of the Opposition Congress-led UDF last week quit the state government's recently-formed Loka Kerala Sabha created to channelise investment and expertise of Malayali industrialists settled abroad for the state's betterment following Sajan's suicide.