THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Protesting against the large-scale reclamation of Vellayani backwaters by the resorts and real-estate mafia, a Secretariat dharna was staged under the joint aegis of the Kalanilayam Paristhithi Vedi, environmentalists and cultural activists here on Monday. Speaking on the occasion, eminent poet and environmental activist D Vinayachandran said Vellayani lake was one of the two freshwater lakes in the State. “It is high time that we conserve our waters sources, rivers and lakes as water is essential for life’s existence. Think about the future of our kids in the absence of drinking water,” he said.
He said political parties had no interest in taking up the issues of reclamation of lakes or encroachment of rivers. It is time for small groups from the locality to come together against such reclamations and encroachments.
Noted sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman said the Vilappilsala agitation was a successful example of local people’s fight against forces imposing injustice on them.
Poet Sugathakumari, Kattoor Narayana Pillai, Karakkamandam Vijayakumar, V Harilal of Sasthra Sahithya Parishat, Sambasivan Muthana and others were present.
Anichandran and Jayanan, chairman and convener of Kalanilayam Parishtithi Vedi, said with the support of the certain politicians and IAS officers, the real-estate and resorts groups had started reclamation of the lake from 1994-95. They asked the Government to notify the area as an ecologically fragile area. The Kalliyoor, Venganoor panchayats and Thiruvananthapuram Corporation should take up the issue jointly and ask the Government to issue a notification banning residential buildings within 50 metres and commercial buildings within 200 metres of the reclaimed lake.