Kochi: Environment experts stress the need for strict regulations and sensible use of natural resources to rebuild Kerala. During a seminar on 'land use and Kerala development' organised by Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishat in Thrissur, experts from various sectors called for changes in land use pattern to reduce impacts of extreme natural calamities.
According to Prof. P.K Raveendran, former state president of Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishat, what the state needs is a constructive land use scheme which takes the possibilities for extreme natural calamities into consideration.
"The existing pattern of land use requires thorough changes. Land has to be categorized to zones based on its nature, availability and demand.
Zonation, which is being followed in developed countries, is important for a densely-populated and land-scarce state," he added.
Speakers in the seminar also sought stringent norms to streamline the real estate sector considering the high number of unoccupied houses in the state. Kerala has more than 15 lakh vacant housing units, including houses, villas and apartments).
"All constructions should be eco-friendly, be it big shopping mall, apartment complexes or a small culvert. Devastation caused by floods was severe due to encroachment of wetlands and river purampoke and filling of wetlands and paddy fields. Extensive quarrying and sand mining added to the woes," he said.
The seminar also called for immediate measures to restore the paddy fields, filled during floods.
Dr. P. Prameela, scientist from Kerala Agriculture University said that paddy fields and wetlands have more environmental value than evergreen forests.
Dr. D. Shaijan, director of John Mathai centre, was the moderator of the seminar....