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NRI Investor Protests as Authorities ‘Delay’ Opening of Rs 25 crore Sports Complex in Kerala

In Kerala, News
November 07, 2023

A UK-resident, who spent Rs 25 crore to set up a state-of-the-art sports complex in his home town Kottayam in Kerala, on Tuesday began a protest before the local village council alleging “indifferent treatment” and delay in providing the necessary permits to open the complex.

Shajimon George, who is settled in the UK for the past quarter of a century, out of passion for his home town decided to give the best for his village in the form of a most modern sports complex.

The complex was recently officially inaugurated by two State Ministers and Rajeeve coming online, but that was it as it’s yet to be thrown open for the public, after the Manjoor Village council has not given the building number and he is unable to open it.

On Tuesday, George after waiting for long and despite producing certificates said he is fed up with the Council who is playing “spoilsport”.

“The last registered letter from the Council to me said I have to produce 36 more certificates. Now after the media taking it up, the Council says I need to give only six more certificates. I decided to start this protest. They have taken a vindictive approach as when I produce certificates, they then tell me to get more certificates,” said an angry George while on his protest.

“Now I will wait for the intervention of either the court or from the state government,” added George.

But Komalavali Ravindran, president of the CPI(M)- led Council said they have never shown any indifference as the officials say they will give the sanction as and when George brings the required certificates.

“We are only happy to see this complex in our place and we have nothing against George at all. As rules have to be followed, when he will come with the desired six more certificates, the building number will be given,” said the council president, and added during the day, government officials from various departments are expected to arrive.

Sources said that George is facing “indifference” from the officials, as he had complained against an official who was seeking bribe to Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau officials, who arrested the accused.

Sabu Jacob, one of Kerala’s premier industrialists, who facing similar “harassment” from government officials in Kochi, dumped the state and set up his unit in Telangana, told media that “the biggest mistake George did was to invest in Kerala”.

“With such a fat investment, he could have done it in some other country or even in some other state in our country. All the big talks about industry friendly atmosphere in the state is humbug. Authorities in Kerala only want to harass investors and collect their money,” said Jacob.

Sunu George, the opposition Congress member in the Manjoor Council said what’s happening in their Council is deplorable as they themselves have raised this issue a few times, but the one ruling the Council has taken a negative stand on this business venture.