Special Correspondent

`Pathrakadavu project site is a buffer zone for Silent Valley'

  • Pathrakadavu dam will be only 500 m off Silent Valley park
  • 4.1 hectares of forest will be submerged when the dam is built

    KOZHIKODE: The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) has emphasised the need for the State and Central Governments to avoid activities that would harm the protected forests in the Silent Valley National Park, which is in the vicinity of the proposed Pathrakadavu hydro-electric project.

    Responding to the State Government move to go ahead with the Pathrakadavu project, KSSP president T.P. Kunhikannan said here on Friday that the public interest in the Pathrakadavu project had been considerably enhanced by the fact that it lay very close to Silent Valley.

    Construction of road

    "There is a strong possibility of the construction of a road up to Pathrakadavu turning out to be a back-door for entry into the Silent Valley National Park. The proposed project site is a buffer zone for Silent Valley.

    There is strong reason to suspect that the Government did not declare this area a buffer zone for Silent Valley because it was determined to implement the Pathrakadavu project," he said.

    He, however, pointed out that the Kerala State Electricity Board had prepared the Pathrakadavu project on the Kunthipuzha after it was decided for environmental reasons to abandon the proposed Silent Valley project.

    The dam for the proposed Pathrakadavu project would be 500 metres outside the official boundary of the Silent Valley National Park and 3.5 km away from the site where a dam was earlier proposed to be constructed.

    Besides the 4.1 hectares of forest land that would be submerged when the dam for the project is built, 10.4 hectares of forest land was also expected to be lost when a 7.34-km road was constructed from the power house to Pathrakkadavu.

    Some more forest would be lost for setting up penstock and other facilities. "No activity that would harm the rich biodiversity of Silent Valley should be allowed," Mr. Kunhikannan said.