Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: Greens in the district observed World Environment Day on Friday by launching the shooting of a documentary Ithu Bhoomiyanu. The 70-minute documentary highlights some of the serious environmental issues in the district.

The documentary is jointly produced by the Odanavattam Malayalam Samskarika Vedi and the Paristhiti Samrakshana Ekopana Samithy (PSES).

The shooting began at the Marutimala hillock in Veliyam grama panchayat with poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar giving a talk.

The Marutimala hillock, which has mythical and environmental importance, was facing destruction at the hands of a granite mafia couple of years ago.

But as a result of the intervention by the PSES, the hillock was saved and is now protected by the Forest Department. The agitation to save the hillock was in fact one of the few environment protection movements in the State to meet with success.

In association with the Grama Haritha Samithi, the Forest Department has launched an eco-tourism project at the hillock.

PSES general convener Odanavattom Vijayaprakash said that the environment issues to be presented through the documentary included the need to save Sasthamcotta Lake; unauthorised clay mining at Velichikala; encroachments on Ashtamudi Lake; unauthorised mineral sand-mining at Alapad; reclamation of paddy fields; felling of avenue trees; and the destruction of the Ithikara and Kallada rivers.

In the Environment Day message of the PSES, Mr. Vijayaprakash said that in spite of the huge government allocation for environment protection, the actual work was unfortunately restricted to campaigns and meetings.

He said pollution was the main environmental threat the State faced. “While the threat of pollution escalates each year, the measures to counter it are becoming weaker and weaker. While hundreds of saplings are being planted each year to observe Environment Day, it is a tragic irony that hundreds of mature trees are being axed down.”