CRZ violation: Call for action against erring officials

Participants at a seminar organised by the Pandit Karuppan Foundation came out strongly against Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) violations on the banks of backwaters.

Published: 17th October 2013 12:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2013 12:39 PM   |  A+A-

Participants at a seminar organised by the Pandit Karuppan Foundation came out strongly against Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) violations on the banks of backwaters.

The seminar on the topic “Shrinking Vembanad-Kaithapuzha-Kochi Backwaters”, held at Panangad on Wednesday, also called for legislation that would enable prosecution of local self government officials and ward councillors who fail to prevent encroachment of backwaters.

Gopinath Panangad, Chairman of the Pandit Karuppan Foundation, said that a number of residential apartments and resorts, including those under construction, have violated the provisions under the CRZ. Mangroves are being rampantly destroyed.

Patches of mangroves are now found only in Kundannur, Nettoor, Vypin, Vallarpadam, Malippuram, Mangalavanam, Kumbalam, Panangad, Chellanam and Kumbalangi, he said. Gopinath said the local ward councillor should be made accountable for the destruction of mangroves.

“When salt water enters the Kochi estuary and mixes with fresh water during high tide, a healthy habitat is created for various living organisms including fish and shrimps. Similarly, when water recedes during low tide a variety of pollutants and wastes are taken into the oceans. This natural exercise is hindered due to mud deposits in the bottom and banks of backwaters. It has been observed that sand dredged from the operational area of Cochin Port is left close to the sea mouth, which returns to the backwaters during inward tidal movement. Cochin Port Trust should let off the dredged mud and silt far out in the sea,” said Gopinath.

B Madhusoodana Kurup, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, who inaugurated the seminar said that backwaters, which acts as a breeding place for many fish species including shrimp, are facing extinction. “It is a matter of serious concern that the spread of backwaters in Kochi and suburbs is shrinking day by day. If the problem is not addressed the ecosystem will perish,” he said. Environmental scientists U K Gopalan and K G Padmakumar presented their research findings. K S Purushan, K K R Nath, M G Sathyan and Ajith Kumar Akathoot spoke.


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