The Kerala government recently allowed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) to conduct an inquiry into a complaint against former Ernakulam Collector MG Rajamanickam IAS. The complaint pertains to the alleged discrepancies in the acquisition of the land owned by Seematti, a textile group in Kochi, for the construction of Kochi Metro. The VACB recently informed the Vigilance court in Muvattupuzha that the government has granted a nod for a preliminary inquiry, states a Times of India report.
A portion of Kochi Metro’s railway line at Kacheripady in Ernakulam was constructed after acquiring the land owned by Seematti. According to the TOI report, the complaint alleges that additional compensation was given to Seematti during the land acquisition. When the normal compensation was fixed at Rs 52 lakhs per cent of the land, reportedly, as per the agreement with the textiles group, they were entitled to claim Rs 80 lakhs per cent.
Reportedly, another alleged special provision given to Seematti was that the land acquired will not be used for any other purposes other than for Kochi Metro.
According to the report, following a preliminary probe, VACB had in 2016 told the Vigilance court that there was no need to register a case into the complaint. But the court, in 2019, directed the agency to get permission from the state government and start a probe. Reportedly, as the government had given nod for inquiry, the court has directed VACB to file a report before next February.
The controversial land stretch of Kochi Metro that was taken over from Seematti is between Town Hall station and MG Road Metro station. The Metro line in this stretch cut right in front of the entrance of the textile shop.
MG Rajamanickam IAS took charge as the Ernakulam District Collector in 2014 and held the post till 2016. He is presently the Managing Director of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation.
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