Staff Reporter

Mayor inaugurates two-day Kerala Environment Congress

  • Call to conserve Western Ghats
  • Kerala Environment Congress 2006 inaugurated

    KOZHIKODE: Mayor M. Bhaskaran has called for widespread mass education programme to protect the rivers of Kerala, especially the Kallai river here.

    Mr. Bhaskaran was inaugurating the two-day Kerala Environment Congress 2006 organised by the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) here on Friday. He said that there has to be movements to protect the rivers of the State. It was in this context that organisations such as CED and Kerala Environment Congress become socially relevant.

    E.J. James, executive director, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), said that pepper had brought reputation even in Europe for India and Kerala. But for pepper, Vasco da Gama would not have come to Kerala. He stressed the need for conserving Western Ghats, which is a bio-diversity hot spot, and also mangroves.

    He also released the proceedings of KEC. P.T.Abdul Latheef, deputy mayor, Dr. Babu Ambat, Executive Director-CED , K.D. Nambudiripad, general convener of KED and A.Sujanapal, former Forest Minister, were among those who spoke at the inaugural function.

    An open forum was held on the state of wetland system of Kozhikode. Dr. V.S. Vijayan, former director, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Nature (SACON), Coimbatore, was the panel member. In the paper, `Action Plan for Rejuvenating Kallai River' presented at the Congress, Dr. A.Achyuthan said that since the high pressure groups are operating for converting these wetlands into real estate, only if political parties take the conservation as one of their agenda can such conservation activities could be fruitful.

    The 50-km long Greater Kozhikode Wetland was the main reason for non-occurrence of large floods in the city in the recent past. The smart city project and its new avatar, Sarovar project, are but plans by the real estate dealers to destroy the wetlands. Sedimentation is the major problem for the Kallai river. There are also widespread encroachments in Kallai river, which is disturbing its flow. Sandmining is another problem. He said that the declaration of Greater Kozhikode Ecosystem as a wetland of national importance was the only solution to the degradation of the area, Dr.Achyuthan said.