Kerala Tourism (Conservation and Preservation of Areas) Act: concerns intensify

The Kerala Tourism (Conservation and Preservation of Areas) Amendment Ordinance, 2010 (Kerala Ordinance 2010) was promulgated by the Governor on 12th June 2010. It provided for amending the Kerala Tourism (Conservation and Preservation of Areas) Act, 2005. It proposes substituting the State Tourism Conservation and Preservation Committees formed under the Kerala Tourism Act, 2005 with State Tourism Development Authority (DA) for the conservation, preservation and integrated planned development of the Special Tourism Zones (STZs). A few days later, on 29th June 2010, the Kerala Tourism (Conservation and Preservation of Areas) Amendment, Bill 2010 was placed before the State Legislative Assembly, presumably, in order to ensure that the Kerala Ordinance 2010 promulgated does not cease to operate. In this paper, we have critiqued the Amendment Bill and questioned the transferring of regulatory powers of Local Self Governing Institutions (LSGIs) to a parastatal body like DA. This results in the loss of the democratic exercise of powers by the LSGIs. We have also questioned the Ordinance route adopted by the government. With hardly less than 15 days left for the assembly session to start, the move is intended to exclude dialogue with people and their representatives and thereby evade public scrutiny.

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