Kollam: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Monday that the state government would address issues faced by residents on Munroe Thuruthu, an ecologically fragile cluster of eight islets spreading over 13.4 square kilometres. He announced this while inaugurating a workshop on the environmental hazards faced by the sinking islands and the solutions here,
The seminar that discussed on various issues including the flooding of islands by Ashtamudi Lake emphasised on developing new construction methods that could combat the rise in water levels during the high tide.
The government has earmarked Rs 75 lakh to resolve environmental hazards by the State wetland authority.
To conserve the coconut cultivation, the agricultural department, agricultural university and institutes like CPCRI should take up scientific research with Rs 70 lakh earmarked under the ‘Kera Gramam’ project.
The major issue the agriculturists on the islands raised was the high saline content in the soil preventing efforts to revive agriculture.
Promoting unique varieties of paddy including ‘Pokkali’ could be tested excellent for the area with fish and prawn cultivation side by side.
The government also would empathetically consider the recommendations by the Assembly Committee on Environment evolved after their visit to the island, he said.
As part of the seminar, an expert team has visited the inundated islands to assess the current situation. They included professors from engineering colleges and officials from departments related to the environment.
They will submit a detailed project to the government.
The Thuruthu has a criss-cross network of canals and watersheds. The landfilling for various purposes including construction results in the sinking of low lying areas during high tide.
The district administration in 2016 banned filling of land here and warned of penal action against violators. Some 200 bio-toilets have also been built here under the ODF programme....