Nation Current Affairs 30 Apr 2019 Kochi: 200-year grov ...

Kochi: 200-year grove being undone

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KJ JACOB
Published Apr 30, 2019, 1:21 am IST
Updated Apr 30, 2019, 1:21 am IST
KSEBL destroys large tract land to set up tower.
Mud and slurry cover a portion of Santhivanam. The KSEBL’s ongoing 110 KV transmission tower work has destroyed the very character of the small forest.
 Mud and slurry cover a portion of Santhivanam. The KSEBL’s ongoing 110 KV transmission tower work has destroyed the very character of the small forest.

Kochi: The Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) which claimed it will limit its work to erect a 110 KV transmission tower on Santhivanam near Paravur to 0.62 cents has caused extensive damage to the 200-year old grove which environmental scientists call a ‘remnant forest’.

DC saw the top soil being removed from an area far more than what the Board claimed; further, it has deposited the slurry which came up during piling on several parts of the grove destroying the very character of the small forest which hosts close to  100 species of flora and fauna. Environmentalists who visited the site say they feared the deposit of the slurry on the sensitive spot would have already destroyed small plants and fauna such as snakes. It would also have  destroyed the undergrowth which is an essential part of the grove. The KSEBL has already cut one white pine tree, which is one among the most endangered species.

 

An official of the KSEBL on the site told DC that the slurry was deposited with the permission of the owner of the land.

“We have no documentary proof but she has asked us to keep it there,” the official said. Ms Meena Menon, owner of the plot, who has been fighting to save the grove, said that the deposit of the slurry would further endanger the grove. “No sane person would ever want it on her premises, leave alone on a place which I consider sacred.” The slurry would spread across the grove during the rains and hence poses a threat to the existence of the rest of the grove, she said.

 

KSEBL, which faced protests from environmental activists, had on Saturday clarified that it would  use only 0.62 cents for the erection of the tower.

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