Disappearance of wetlands posing threat to diverse ecosystem

T.V. Ramachandra, professor, Centre for Ecological Science, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, alleged here on Monday that the coastal regulatory zone rules are being violated in the coastal belt in the State.

He was inaugurating a two-day workshop on “disaster management of floods and the environmental consequences thereof in coastal regions and food and water security” at the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka (NIT-K), Surathkal.

Without referring to any specific violations, Mr. Ramachandra said: “Violations are happening”.

Stressing the importance of conserving mangroves in the coastal belt, he said that they acted as a shield to human habitation during natural calamities such as tsunami.

Mr. Ramachandra said that wetlands in the coastal belt had disappeared because of human activities posing a threat to the diverse ecosystem. Referring to a study carried out by him in Uttara Kannada in 2009, he said that landslides took place at 21 locations on a single day along the National Highway 17.

The study found that the landslides happened where natural vegetations were removed and mono-culture plantations came up.He said that upgrading Bangalore Mahanagara Palike as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike only resulted in filling up of wetlands on the outskirts of the then Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. The workshop was organised by Mangalore local centre of The Institution of Engineers and the NIT-K.

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