Eco groups ask CM to drop move to amend KCPLW Act

Eco groups in the district have called upon Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the State government not to go ahead with its plan to amend the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland (KCPLW) Act 2008.

Talking to The Hindu here on Friday, N.K. Sukumaran Nair, Pampa Parirakshana Samiti (PPS) general secretary, said it was high time the State government took stern and effective measures to protect at least the remaining wetlands and paddy lands especially in the backdrop of acute water scarcity and drought situation prevailing in the State. He said the State should take a pledge in this regard on Saturday when the world observes the Wetlands Day, instead of thinking about amending the existing Act. Almost all major water sources were drying up in the scorching summer sun.

River Pampa was undergoing a deep water crisis owing to man’s anti-nature activities, he said. Mr Nair said the move to convert the Aranmula wetlands and paddy land (puncha) in the name of the proposed private airport should be dropped at any cost, as it would toll the death knell for River Pampa.

He called for stringent action against those behind the conversion of nearly 100 acres of paddy land and partial conversion of the natural stream Valiyathode at Aranmula without any further delay. Mr Nair said the State government should not sideline the very fact that India was a signatory to the Ramsar Convention for conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Vembanad wetland

He alleged that various Centrally-sponsored schemes for conservation of the Vembanad wetland had been sabotaged by certain vested interests, leaving the common people at the receiving end.

Though the Union government had decided to include the Vembanad Lake in the National Lake Conservation Programme in 2003 and in the National Wetland Conservation Plan in 2009, the State government had failed to submit the detailed project reports. The much sought-after Pampa Action Plan, sanctioned by the National Rivers Conservation Directorate as part of the National River Conservation Programme, too met with a similar fate owing to the indifferent attitude of the successive governments in the State, Mr Nair alleged.