Hitting out at the Union government for its move to scrap the construction of Coast Guard Academy in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated that this shows the Centre's neglect towards the state.
The Centre had recently announced that it was dropping plans to construct Coast Guard Academy at Kannur district in Kerala since it failed to get environmental clearance. The foundation stone for the academy was laid back in 2011 by the then Defence Minister AK Antony.
"Despite the state government handing over required land and promising complete cooperation, backing off from the project shows Centre's neglect and injustice to Kerala," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
"The issue of environmental clearance had been notified by the state government to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The central government in 2018 had brought changes to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of 2011. New CRZ notification as per the changes has also come in place. Permission could be granted for establishments of national security including Coast Guard Academy. But it is unfortunate that the central government did not move in this direction," stated Pinarayi Vijayan.
It was in 2009 that UPA government took the decision to construct Coast Guard Academy in Kerala. "As per this, 164 acres of land was handed over by the state at Valapattanam in Kannur near the Arabian Sea, in 2011. After laying the foundation stone, the Indian Coast Guard has till date spent Rs 65.56 crores there," Chief Minister stated.
He also added that the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority has given recommendations to grant environmental clearance for the project in 2015 itself. "Even we had directly requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister to complete the project on time. The state government also coordinated with the project swiftly. Despite all this, it is unfortunate that now the Centre has scrapped the project citing environmental clearance," Pinarayi Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister also said that environmental clearance should be given to the project as per the CRZ notification of 2018 and that the project should be continued.