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Saturday, December 22

The saga continues...

Here comes the latest 'scoop'!Take a look at the snapshot of Malayala Manorama on 21 Dec 2007.

Main-headline (in bleeding bold letters) cries out that hundreds of acres of land in 7 districts were bought by various companies in the name of IT, Boitechnology development. The report states that this is a clear violation of the Land Reforms Act, which states that an individual or family couldn't own more than 15 acres of land. A team of investigators are probing into these shady deals by the 'mafia'.

Oh, I'm confused... Imagine this situation...

A company plans to establish an IT/BT township in 100 odd acres. They buy land from local people by paying market rates. They create first-world infrastructure for attracting the best players and aid in creating thousands of jobs.

Which is the shady deal here? And most importantly who is the mafia?

In Cochin, Shobha Group has commenced work on thier Hitech City in around 400 acres of land. Unitech, Parswanath, Emaar have large parcels of land for their projects which will rival the Smart City. In Trivandrum, Mahindra Group is said to have 150+ acres of land. They waited in vain for years for land from Govt to build thier World City as in Chennai.(Just look at the long list of land requests from IT Companies in Technopark website! What do you expect them to do? Wait for ages for Govt acquired land or go in their own ways?) They all have bought the land at prevailing rates, unlike our Govt who forced people off their lands offering them Rs.10,000/cent instead of the original value of 3,00,000!(Please count the no of zeros properly, ok?)

Leaves me wondering...Who is the real mafia here??

Using agricultural land for residential/commercial purposes is against law, agreed. But this news report doesn't mention that it was agricultural or environmentally sensitive land which has been bought by the real estate 'barons'. The issue seems to be that the beurocrats are not able to locate the individual or organisation who purchased the land and for what purpose it has been bought. Well, thats a simple logical explanation. Which sensible organisation in this world would announce that "we plan to build a township in 100 acres here, so please give us the land" and then start purchasing? The announcement itself would spin land values out of control and the company would end up paying 10 times the original cost. So it is a common, intelligent and ethical practice to go through the former path. But alas, not in Kerala..

Because...we have such an inefficient and backward system, which always comes up with a 'trumpcard' against big projects. Our bearocracy wont allow even a blade of grass to grow unless they recieve their 'dues'. A herd of super-clown politicians, about whom, the lesser said the better. And our all-inspiring omnipresent media which refuses to grow up...

The result:
Unemployement rates and migration rates second to none in India.

Mr. Menon of Shobha Group remarked that he is not fully confident that his projects in Kerala would be a reality. Well, your worst fears are turning into reality sir! Wait till our great Achumama smells a rat in the so- called 'shady deals'. Soon Unitech, Parswanath and all those 'barons' will be on the run.

Well done Kerala!

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