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A society which has set up a controversial mangrove theme park in Kerala’s Kannur district Wednesday approached the Kerala High Court seeking to restrain an order by the union environment and forests ministry to close the park.

Acting on the suit filed by Pappinessery Eco-Tourism Society, backed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the court directed the state government to implead in the case.

The central government’s directive to close down the park was made to the state government July 14.

Following an uproar by the Congress-led opposition Monday in the state assembly, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan directed the Kannur district collector to take action. The park was closed Monday evening.

The opposition alleged that CPI-M central committee member and former legislator E.P. Jayarajan was the force behind the park.

The park was in blatant violation of all norms because it came under the Coastal Regulation Zone, an ecologically fragile area, the opposition said.

Kannur Lok Sabha member and senior Congress leader K. Sudhakaran was the first to complain to the central government about the park.

‘An advertisement on the new park shows that there would be a food court, a health court and a convention centre. They have flouted every norm and have gone ahead with the construction,’ said Sudhakaran.

On Tuesday, a seven-member expert committee formed to look into the controversial park visited the site.

The committee is expected to submit its report in two weeks’ time after meeting environmentalists and political leaders.

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