More funds needed to acquire 110 acres of land

The Koyilandy municipality is yet to acquire nearly 110 acres of mangrove land, now under the possession of private parties at Anelakkadavu, which is vital for the setting up of its mangrove park project announced in 2004.

Even after eight years, the municipal authorities are finding it hard to further its proposal, which was once projected as a first of its kind environmental initiative by a local body in the State.

State help needed

According to municipal chairperson K. Santha, the land acquisition for the project will not be possible for the municipality without financial assistance from the State government.

“Most of these areas are occupied by low-income groups. They are willing to cooperate with the land acquisition if the government is involved,” she said.

Threat looms

Because of the delay in acquiring land, vast areas of mangroves in the coastal region are facing threat from land reclamation attempts and unscientific fishing activities.

As per data available with the municipality, there are over 17 types of mangrove species in these areas besides several other rare varieties of plants, birds, and animals.

Museum too pending

The proposal to set up a mangrove museum too has lost steam.

Though the municipality has earmarked Rs.10 lakh for the museum, it will not take off if the State government does not sanction a Rs.30-lakh package.

According to Ms. Santha, the building for the museum is now ready, but facilities including an aquarium and reference library can be offered only with funds from the government.

“We will not be able to open the museum this fiscal. But efforts are on to launch it in the next fiscal,” she said.

Now, the municipality’s hope rests on the final blueprint of the project. It is learnt that the project report will be ready in five months.

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