THISSUR: Two natural rivulets originating from the reserved forest in Dhoni forest range near Malampuzha dam here have been diverted to a private quarry and crusher unit for the commercial use of washing M-sand. The violation by the 'Royal Crusher' unit has been unearthed by environmental organisation Paristhithi Aikya Vedi. This comes at a time when other environmental violations have been reported in the state, including by MLA P.V. Anwar in Koodaranji panchayat in Kozhikode for a water park and the alleged encroachment by Mr Joyce George MP at Kottakamboor in Idukki.
Vedi's member and green activist Boban Mattumanth, who filed a complaint with the chief minister, revenue and forest ministers and the district collector on Saturday, said that a team from his organization had visited the crusher unit lying adjacent to the Dhoni forest here on Monday and collected the details of the illegal activity along with its photographs. "Both the rivulets named 'Vilavakundu thodu' and 'Karippali thodu' have been diverted by building a huge tank near the forest inside a land which the crusher owner claims to hold. The tank water is then diverted through penstock pipes which are laid by filling the rivulets. By filling the laid pipes with soil, one of the rivulets has been fully reclaimed," Mr Boban told DC.
The penstock pipes extend to nearly 1.5 km and there is another tank built near the crusher to collect the diverted water, he added. Vedi activists told DC that after they raised the issue, political leaders were calling them over phone to play down the issue. "The crusher is functioning in Akathethara panchayat ruled by the CPM and the party has not taken any action in the matter," Mr Boban said. Due to diversion of the rivulet, a total of 125 acres of paddyland in Dhoni is not getting water and the farmers have stopped cultivation. Meanwhile, officials at the Royal Crusher claim that they have dumped the soil from the crusher near the rivulets and the pipes were laid to prevent the water body from getting filled up with this waste.