Councillor petitions NGT against indiscriminate land filling for Technopark project
Thomas Lawrence, an engineer, had filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal citing the filing of land and a 10-acre pond in the 19.72-acre plot allocated in the phase 3 development of Technopark
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The councillor of Attipara ward Suni Chandran has filed an online petition against the indiscriminate filling of wetland and pond in the phase three development of Technopark even after an order from the National Green Tribunal to the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector forbidding the filling.
Thomas Lawrence, an engineer, had filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal citing the filing of land and a 10-acre pond in the 19.72-acre plot allocated in the phase 3 development of Technopark, the technological hub of the state.
With a meticulous documentation armed with the photographs, he sent the mail directly to National Green Tribunal which accepted the application and registered it as suo motu case.
The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal presided by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the state of Kerala represented by the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector to immediately take action and report to the NGT within a month. While the notice was served to the District Collector only on January 19, the order was signed on December 19.
There was a report of the Attipara Agriculture Officer stating there is a 10 acre pond in the property and the remaining land was wetland.
This was not taken into consideration and the pond and the wetland were filled. Sanjeev S J of EPRC, an NGO taking up environmental issues, while speaking to Express said, “The Veli, Akkulam, Kadinamkulam backwaters or brackish waters can be considered the green lung of Thiruvananthapuram and it should be preserved as a biosphere in the days to come. Even after the order of the National Green Tribunal has come, unabated and indiscriminate filling of land is taking place in the area.”
The Attipara Agriculture officer in a reply to an RTI filed by Sushil Thomas Abraham stated the area where the pond was situated is now filled with interlocking tiles which is a blatant violation of environment and nature as no natural or manmade ponds can ever be filled.
Suni said, “Even after the NGT order has come, there is no hindrance in filling the wetlands and pond which will lead to drying up of our wells and water sources leading to drought. We are planning a mass movement against this filling of water resources and wetland.”District Collector K Vasuki did not answer even after repeated calls.