Nation Current Affairs 06 Mar 2016 Greens lambast nod f ...

Greens lambast nod for paddy land reclamation

Published Mar 6, 2016, 6:29 am IST
Updated Mar 6, 2016, 6:29 am IST
Representational image
 Representational image

KOCHI: Green activists across the state have decried the permission accorded by the government for the reclamation of nearly 434 acres of paddy and wetland at the ecologically sensitive areas close to Kumarakom and Ernakulam.

The decision  came a day ahead of the inauguration of a convention in Kochi by  environmental scientist Prof. Madhav Gadgil to  protect the backwaters of the state.

“The decision is totally unjustified. The government should not support any move to reclaim the remaining patches of paddy and wetland in the state,”  said Mr  G.S. Vijayan,  former chairman of the Biodiversity Board of Kerala.

The state has so far lost 12,98,486 hectares of paddy and wet lands through reclamation posing a serious challenge to the ecological balance of the state, he said.

The data by the Centre for Earth Sciences and Ministry of Forest and Environment shows that 681,000 hectares of paddy land and 617,486 hectares of wetland was filled up for various projects in the state, he added.

The government issued the order permitting the filling up of 387 acres of the Methran Kayal near Kumarakom for a mega tourism project on March 1, two days ahead of the announcement of the Assembly elections.

On the same day,  it  also sanctioned the filling up of 47 acres of paddy land at Tharayanthuruthu in Kadamakkudy panchayat for setting up a hospital complex by a group of non-resident Keralites.

The decision will be opposed as it violates basic principles of paddy and wetland protection and coastal regulation zone acts, said Mr G.D. Martin, a scientist and research fellow at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean University Studies.

The Kadamakuddy-Pizhala region is the most fertile area for Pokkali cultivation marked by six months' shrimp farming and another six months of paddy cultivation, he said. Mr V.D. Majeendran,  state coordinator of National Alliance of People's Movement,  said that an emergency meeting of various activist groups would be held soon to chalk out a protest and agitation plan against the projects.

Kadamakkudy panchayat president Salini Babu said that she was  not aware of the project and the panchayat had  not given sanction to the hospital project.  Mr V.K. Prakasan, a BJP ward member from the region, said that the matter would be raised in the panchayat committee.

Location: India, Kerala


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