There is nothing hazy or dubious in the approach of the State Government on the Kovalam Palace issue as any decision on giving land in the portion, excluding the castle and 4.13 hectares of land, for use of an adjoining hotel will be subject to the relinquishing of the claims by the hotel group in the court and the decision of the all-party meet, Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar said here on Friday.
Reiterating the position of the government, Anil Kumar said that though the LDF Government had also adopted a same policy, it was put on hold with the Law Department objecting to it as the hotel group was not clear cut in accepting the government right. The present government has also made acceptance of the government ownership a pre-requisite for providing land contiguous to the 4.13 hectares, inclusive of the palace, for the hotel group to provide amenities.
“There is no question of surrendering the state’s interests,’’ he asserted and said any decision would be taken only on the basis of political consensus.
Minister Clarifies on Seaplanes
Anil Kumar said that the Tourism Department was on a keen mission to begin the operations of seaplanes at select locations by January next year. He said that there would be no commitment from the government to operators except providing infrastructure facilities such as constructions of jetties.
“The government may have to take a favourable decision on fuel tax exemption. 58 Expression of Interests have been received so far in the proposal, pursued after Emerging Kerala. Out of it, there are even two seaplane manufacturers,’’ he said. “Some have made demands like government committing to a regular off take of 5-6 seats in each service, which was not accepted. A committee headed by the Chief Secretary will process all the proposals,’’ he said.
Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said Pawan Hans, which conducted a feasibility report, has given the go ahead. “The process of framing a Detailed Project Report has begun. 25 locations have been identified. But the government is for development of 6-7 locations initially,’’ he said.