Special Correspondent

KANNUR: Environmental activists took out a march to the Divisional Forest Office here on Wednesday to highlight their demands including closure of an “illegally functioning mangrove theme park on the banks of the Valapattanam river” and declaration of the mangrove vegetation areas as ecologically fragile land (EFL).

The march, organised by the Jilla Paristhiti Samiti, was attended by representatives of various ecology outfits. Environmental activist Shobeendran alleged that the government had the possession rights over all mangrove areas as per the EFL Act section 3(1).

However, the Forest Department chose to take no action when 12 acres of mangrove areas were destroyed for developing the park there. Forest Minister Benoy Viswom had not even cared to issue a statement. The silence favoured advocates of the theme park. The march was to question the Forest Department's attitude, he said, adding that the department had done good work too.

Mr. Shobeendran also said that non-implementation of reports of the mangrove survey, carried out as part of introducing the EFL Act, was anti-constitutional.Activists D. Surendranath, Puzhakkal Vasudevan, Bhaskaran Vellur, Vinod Payyada, T.O. Mohanan and U. Sharafuddin spoke.