The authority has recommended that the Kochi Corporation could approach the Department of Social Forestry to monitor and implement the compensatory afforestation programme.

The Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) has directed the Kochi Corporation to submit a proposal for a large-scale afforestation programme to compensate the loss of about 16,000 square metre of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) area for its sewage treatment plant (STP) at Mundamveli.

Presentation

The civic body made a power point presentation before the committee recently suggesting that it will plant at least three times more mangrove vegetation which was lost in the region following the reclamation. An expert panel appointed by the authority had earlier found that the Corporation had failed to seek Coastal Regulation Zone clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and KSCZMA for the project.

Defined as CVC

The report submitted by the panel had said that the area is part of Vembanad backwater and is defined as a Critically Vulnerable Area (CVC) in the CRZ (2011) notification.

Reclamation and cutting of mangroves were carried out in the area in violation of the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2011.

Reliable sources in the authority told The Hindu that the Kochi Corporation should submit a comprehensive proposal on the compensatory afforestation programme.

The local body should specify the sites identified for the project besides elaborating on the action plan for long term conservation of the mangroves.

The authority has recommended that the Kochi Corporation could approach the Department of Social Forestry to monitor and implement the compensatory afforestation programme.

Prohibition

Meanwhile, scientists belonging to the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) and the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment, who were part of the probe panel, had earlier pointed out that setting up and expansion of units or mechanism for disposal of wastes and effluents are prohibited in the CRZ except the facilities required for discharging treated effluents into the water course with approval under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (6 of 1974); storm water drains and ancillary structures for pumping; treatment of waste and effluents arising from hotels, beach resorts and human settlements located in CRZ areas other than CRZ-I and disposal of treated wastes and effluents; and discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements.

Keywords: KSCZMAafforestationSTP

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