Kerala

Greens welcome plan to drop Coast Guard Academy project

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‘Land should be reclaimed and biodiversity reinstated’

Even though political parties have strongly condemned the Central government’s decision to drop the project to set up the Indian Coast Guard Academy in Kannur, environmental activists have welcomed the move. The activists have said that implementing environmental laws will ensure the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and prevent their destruction in the name of development.

CRZ clearance

The project has been dropped following the denial of environment and Coast Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The 164 acres of land, which the State government transferred following approval from the Union government, fell within CRZ-1(A) area, where no construction is permissible. Half of the extent of the area was covered by mangroves.

Vinod Payyada, a member of the District Environmental Committee, said many developmental works that were carried out by citing employment generation or industrial growth had only helped a handful of people, while adversely affected the majority.

Mangroves

He said since the MoEFCC had refused environmental clearance, the land should be reclaimed and the biodiversity of the area reinstated. A major part of the area, which had mangrove forests, was destroyed for the proposed academy. Farmers used to carry out the Kaipad system of rice cultivation there, he added.

‘Other plans’

However, he suspected that since the Central government had abandoned the plan for the academy, there might be efforts by the State to take back the land to utilise it for other purposes.

D. Surendranath, chairman, Save Kerala Campaign Committee, said the mass destruction of environment had caused problems for the people.

He said development work carried out by destroying the environmentally fragile area had displaced people and invited the wrath of nature. Development should not be at the cost of environment and it should go hand in hand, he said.

State’s growth

Environmentalist Bhaskaran Vellur, though supportive of the Central government’s decision, said such decisions should not hinder the State’s development. He emphasised that the same environment law should be implemented for other ecologically fragile areas too.

Compensation

Chandran Thottathil, who has filed a case in the Supreme Court demanding proper compensation for giving up his land on which prawn farming was done, said though the government had paid him the land value, no compensation was given for agricultural loss.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 3:42:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/greens-welcome-plan-to-drop-coast-guard-academy-project/article30152942.ece

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