Kumbalangi, the first tourism village, is all set to have a Mangrove Research Centre. The project is mooted by the Kumbalangi Model Tourism Development Society (KMTDS) in association with the grama panchayat with the technical assistance from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).
KMTDS office-bearers also said the Department of Forests had also offered support to the initiative.
The Centre is being set up in memory of the late Ittoop Kochery, an environmentalist and native of Kumbalangi, who stood for the protection of mangroves. “A mangrove belt is also being constructed along the Kumbalangi-Kandakadav Road where Ittoop had already planted a number of mangroves. Once grown, this 1.25 km-road through paddy holdings, with a bush of mangroves on both sides will be an added feature of the Tourism Village,” Kumbalangi Model Tourism Society president M P Saivadathan said.
Union Minister of State for Food and Civil
Supplies K V Thomas inaugurated the setting up of mangrove belt by planting a sapling on sunday.
Saplings of Penakandal are being planted along this road. Dominic Presentation MLA, panchayat president Usha Pradeep, Chief Forest Conservator B S Corrie, Ittoop’s family members were present at the function.
“We hope that the first phase of the Mangrove Study Centre can be completed at a cost of `14 lakh. Apart from the facilities to conduct research on mangrove species the centre will also have facilities to watch and study about migratory birds which come to Kumbalangi on certain seasons and fish species which enjoy a habitat in mangrove forests,” he said.