Violations on Vembanad The Ramsar Wet Land

Published on: 14 Aug, 2013
Published under: Cochin District News

13 August 2013
Kochi

Resorts and apartment complexes numbering over 20 and worth over Rs.1,500 crore have come up in violation of the Coastal Zone Regulation (CRZ) guidelines on the banks of the Vembanad lake. In many cases, the structures were constructed after illegally reclaiming the lake, which is a wetland of international importance.

These violations were identified by expert committees of the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) on its own and through complaints, said K.K. Ramachandran, member secretary of the authority.Incidentally, CRZ violations in Vembanad lake, a Ramsar wetland, came under severe criticism from the Supreme Court in one of its judgements delivered last week.

Upholding the Kerala High Court’s decision to demolish the illegally constructed Green Lagoon Resort on Vettila Thuruthu in the Vembanad lake near Eramalloor, the apex court ruled that the protection of the lake, which was undergoing severe environmental degradation due to increased human interventions, was a matter of serious concern for Kerala as well as the country at large.

The Supreme Court, which threw out the Special Leave Petition filed by the promoters of the project, also noted that the conservation of the lake had “immense importance as it supports a large aquatic biodiversity and the most important migrating birds’ habitat. Vembanad lake serves as a habitat to a variety of fin and shell fish and a nursery of several species of aquatic life.”

The authority, after obtaining reports of violations, had issued notices and stop memos to the project proponents and the local bodies concerned. However, in many cases, the local bodies had failed to act. The apathetic attitude of the local bodies and their refusal to respond to the notices of the authority were recently brought to the notice of the Secretary of the Local Self Government Department, Dr. Ramachandran said.

Source– http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/vembanad-a-hotbed-of-violations/article5016493.ece

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