Staff Reporter

It was only a draft proposal: district panchayat president

KOLLAM: The district administration has not cleared any scheme to cull cormorants, K. Somaprasad, district panchayat president, has said.

He was speaking at a press conference convened here on Thursday in the wake of media reports on a controversial scheme, to shoot down cormorants, mentioned in the Integrated District Development Plan (IDDP) for Kollam prepared by the District Planning Committee (DPC).

“The scheme in the IDDP is only a draft proposal that has not been cleared. In 19 categories, 556 schemes have been proposed by the DPC. But none have been cleared. These are only proposals for the consideration of Local Self Government Institutions (LSGI),” he said.

The scheme mentioned in the IDDP proposes culling of cormorants for conserving fish wealth of the inland water bodies. It was proposed on the grounds that fish-eating cormorants are a major cause of depletion of the fish wealth. Cormorants are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

When asked how something which is against the law of the land managed to find place in a government document as a draft scheme, Mr. Somaprasad said while preparing the IDDP the legal aspects of many proposals could not be considered. This aspect will be considered only when the proposal is taken up for clearance.

A misunderstanding of the draft proposal had triggered the news reports, he said. It was only one among several proposals for augmenting fish wealth.