Kerala

Mangroves under Mahe bypass bridge destroyed

The mangrove forest filled with earth at Chokli Pathikal in Kannur district.

The mangrove forest filled with earth at Chokli Pathikal in Kannur district.

Large tracts of mangrove forest have been found destroyed under the Mahe bypass bridge at Chokli Pathikal area, which is between the New Mahe and Chokli panchayat in Kannur district.

The area covered by the mangroves is primarily owned by individuals. However, in the garb of construction of the bypass bridge, the mangroves were destroyed by piling it with soil, said Shaukat Ali Eroth, working chairman of the Mahe River Conservation Committee.

Except for the construction of pillars for the bridge and a 3.5-metre area for the service road, the land cannot be used for other purposes under the law.

But the activities here were similar to what had taken place in Kozhikode, where large areas of mangroves forest were destroyed to convert the place into a commercial site, he alleged. Mr. Ali said the COVID outbreak and subsequent lockdown had given further confidence to the violators of the law.

“Behind this is the nexus of bureaucrat-political-land mafia who are creating commercial plots for private individuals in addition to filling the land for the bypass road,” he said. The matter needed to be thoroughly investigated and the wetland restored before the onset of the monsoon season, he said.

The destruction of the mangrove forests in Pathikkal came to the notice of the Mahe River Conservation Committee activists, including C.K. Rajalakshmi and N.V. Ajay Kumar, who were part of a delegation that went to study the Mangat stream, which has been destroyed due to the laying of the bypass road.

He said the committee would file complaints with authorities from the village officer to the Prime Minister.


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Printable version | May 16, 2022 9:35:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/mangroves-under-mahe-bypass-bridge-destroyed/article38341288.ece