THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The District Administration has initiated action into the alleged filling up of the Akkulam lakesides. A day after T'Puram Express brought the issue to the fore, a team of officials comprising the RDO and village officers visited the site on Sunday and issued a stop memo. Terming it as a gross violation, RDO K Inbasekar has said that notices have been served where violations were observed. "Action will be taken against the violators. What we have come across is a gross violation," said Inbasekar. "We have also issued a directive to the corporation secretary to remove the waste which has been dumped near the wetlands," he said.
The decision was based on reports and complaints about the filling up of the coastal wetlands with debris, plastic and sanitary waste. "All the waste were dumped near the edge of the lake. A stop memo was issued and the next step will be to check if permission was obtained to fill the area in some manner. And the land records need to be checked," said Jayan K M, Attipra village officer.
Earlier, the Inland Navigation Department had initiated an investigation into the very matter. A team of officials had visited the area twice and the officials who visited the site on Saturday maintained that although they saw violations, the area didn't come under their jurisdiction. "There are violations. The lake has a 200 m buffer zone where no activities can be carried out. The lakesides were being filled and we had also intercepted a truck the other day. But we cannot take any action as the area is out of our purview," said Surajith S R, an official with the Inland Navigation.
Over the past several weeks, the lakesides have been witnessing frenzied filling up. The lakeside lying opposite to the stretch extending from the Southern Air Command (SAC) to the Akkulam Bridge is being filled up with waste and soil at an unprecedented rate. The stretch is dotted with heaps of sand and waste mixture, all waiting to be eased into the wetlands.
The RDO's directive to the corporation will ensure these are removed. The complaint regarding the filling up of the coastal wetlands was raised by the members of the Environmental Protection and Research Council (EPRC).
Police Step Up Vigil
The city police commissioner gave directions to the nearby police stations - at Medical College and Sreekariyam- to conduct checking and seize the vehicles if any illegal activities are observed. "I will also be sending my personal team for surprise inspections. Being holidays, the miscreants could make use of the occasion. And so, the police team will patrol the area the whole night," said police commissioner Kori Sanjaykumar Gurudin.