The ongoing construction work across Ashtamudi Lake.
KOLLAM: As the Ashramam ring road extension works here enter its fourth stage connecting Thoppilkkadavu and Olayilkkadavu, the cries by environmentalists against violating the Coastal Zone Management Rules have fallen on deaf ears.
The authorities still proceed with the road which is virtually irrelevant with the opening of Kollam bypass. Filling Ashtamudi Lake violating environmental norms will adversely affect the ecology.
"The need for such a road by filling the lake itself is a matter of debate," V.I. Rahul, an environmental activist who challenged it in Kerala High Court, told DC.
"The authorities say the 2.75-km road will ease the traffic along the 1.6-km stretch connecting collectorate junction, high school junction, and Kollam bus stand. But the bypass has made it irrelevant."
As the area falls under CRZ (coastal regulatory zone)-II and the lake is a Ramsar site, it needs the permission of the state's department of environment and climate change based on Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010.
The project has not obtained sanction from Coastal Zone Management Authority either.
In reply to an RTI query earlier, the KCZMA has maintained the office holds no details on the permission for construction along the lake as part of phase III of link road extension.
Though authorities claim the construction is on pillars, the tidal flow is likely to get affected. The lake has also been extensively filled in bus stand junction and Olayilkkadavu areas.
The construction from Kollam KSRTC terminal to Thoppilkadavu via Olayil Kadavu is entirely through the Ashtamudi Lake. Pillars have been erected in the lake up to Olayil Kadavu for Phase III.
The Phase IV which is in the initial stage involves the construction of a flyover from Olayil Kadavu to Thoppilkadavu.