Kozhikode

Wetland reclamation goeson despite stop memo

A part of the Kottooli wetland near Kalipoyka filled by vested interests.

A part of the Kottooli wetland near Kalipoyka filled by vested interests.   | Photo Credit: K_RAGESH;K_RAGESH -

Locals pin hopes on petitions submitted to Minister, Collector

With unhindered reclamation of wetland continuing beside the Kalipoika near the Sarovaram Biopark, the local people are now pinning their hopes on the petitions submitted to the Minister for Local Self-Governments and the District Collector demanding that the land be converted to its original status of a wetland.

The said property beside the Kalipoika road is owned by a person from Nilambur. But since it is part of the Kottooly wetland, one of the only five notified wetlands in the State, with a wide variety of mangroves, it falls under the protected category and hence could not be filled. However, the local people noted that some of the mangroves were destroyed and part of the land was filled by the owner a few months ago. The village officer issued a stop memo on the land filling and the activities stopped for some time.

It was a week ago that the local people noticed further activity in the plot. The gate that was locked by the authorities preventing further filling was removed and a vast part of the land was filled with fresh mud brought in trucks. “It must have been done after midnight, or else someone must have seen it,” said ward councillor Anitha Rajan, who submitted a petition to Minister K.T. Jaleel, District Collector and the District Medical Officer demanding that the land owner be made to remove the soil from the filled land.

“The owners of the said land are pretty adamant. The stop memos seem to have no effect on them. Hence I had to take further steps”, Ms. Rajan told The Hindu.

The Sarovaram Bio-Park was set up with the aim to protect the Kottooly wetland that spreads over more than 100 acres in the heart of the city. But there have been a lot of violations of the Kerala Paddy and Wetland Protection Act over the last few years, not just from real estate giants as in this case, but by the government machinery as well. The Kalipoika, a part of the wetland, just like the biopark, has immense tourism potential. But the area has been neglected by the authorities and is garbage ridden these days.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 4:09:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/Wetland-reclamation-goeson-despite-stop-memo/article14580623.ece

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