Survey demands steps to protect Kottooly wetland

Spread over 150 acres, the Kottooly wetlands act as a a sink for pollutants and is a primary recharge source for groundwater aquifers in Kozhikode.— Photo: K. Ragesh  

: The Kottooly wetlands, in the heart of Kozhikode city, has been subjected to degradation and loss of biodiversity owing to reclamation, pollution and human intervention, says a survey conducted by the Department of Soil Survey and Soil Conservation recently.

The survey was carried out by the office of the Assistant Director of Soil Survey, Kozhikode, as per the directions of the then District Collector C.A. Latha in February to March 2014. The surveyors have demanded immediate steps to preserve the wetland considering its ecological significance.

The Kottooly wetlands that spread over 150 hectares in Kottooly, Vengeri and Chevayur villages of Kozhikode taluk have been identified by the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment under National Wetland Conservation programme as one of the 27 extremely significant wetland ecosystems in the country. The area comes under CRZ regulation Zone 1.

The wetland acts as a major receptacle of flood water from the city, a primary recharge source for ground water aquifers in the vicinity, a sink for pollutants and a rich mangrove habitat. It is rich in flora and fauna.

The survey found that a large portion of the wetland has been reclaimed for human settlement and that the reclamation is continuing. Areas in the west, north-west and northern boundary of the wetland adjacent to the main land are more prone to conversion and encroachment. Destruction of mangrove vegetation and indiscriminate and unscientific way of fishing, as well as the encroachment should be prevented in the area with a view to preserve the biodiversity, the survey says.

The upcoming multi-storeyed flats and commercial establishments around the wetland may contribute to pollution of the wetland in future. The survey demands a multi-dimensional approach to preserve the eco patch, including mangrove afforestation, desilting, pollution abatement, weed control, fishery development, conservation of biodiversity and awareness creation among local people.

The survey result may have a direct impact on the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation’s attempt to construct a sewage treatment plant near the wetland and resisting the public uproar against it.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:21:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/survey-demands-steps-to-protect-kottooly-wetland/article8033521.ece

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