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Sholayur panchayat set to dismantle ‘illegal’ windmills  

Credit:  By A Satish |ENS | The New Indian Express | 20th July 2015 | www.newindianexpress.com ~~

PALAKKAD: The Sholayur panchayat will go ahead with the dismantling of the 23 windmills at Nallasingha ooru in Attappadi as the Governing Committee of the panchayat felt that the constructions were illegal since the promoters had not taken any permission from the local body. Panchayat president M Murugan said they had received an order from the Directorate of Panchayats, stating that the windmills were illegal. Murugan said the main control room and the gate of the wind farm were locked and sealed on Friday and the remaining control rooms would be locked on Monday. He added the Governing Committee had issued an order to the windmill operators not to operate the equipment as they had been set up illegally. Notwithstanding the call, the windmills continued to function.

Murugan said even though the 23 mills were functioning since 2006, they had never paid tax to the panchayat. It was in this context that action was initiated against these windmills.

Earlier, notices were issued to the promoters announcing the dismantling on May 17, 2011, June 27, 2014 and May 25, 2015.Notices were served by the panchayat on eight companies of which seven were in Kerala. Only one of the promoters was based in Mumbai. The notice said the construction was not as per the provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Building Rules which governed and controlled the construction activities in a panchayat.According to section 235 (w) of the Act, the expenses incurred towards the dismantling should be borne by the companies, the notice said, adding the firms should pay the tax and also fine. Murugan said the promoters of the windmills remitted Rs 5.75 to the panchayat soon after after the notices were issued. He said the land records of the windmills were dubious and the Vigilance itself had found that a portion of the land, purchased by Sarjan Realities, on behalf of Suzlon Limited, was tribal land.

Source:  By A Satish |ENS | The New Indian Express | 20th July 2015 | www.newindianexpress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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