KERALA

‘Tourism scheme harmed wetlands’

Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: The Kottuli wetlands have suffered environmental damage because of the Sarovaram tourism project, a spokesman of the Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has said.

P. Prasad, district secretary of KSSP, said here on Thursday that the damage was detected in a study conducted recently by a team sent by the KSSP. The team members found that the damage was inflicted during the execution of the first phase of the tourism project.

The KSSP had appealed to the authorities concerned to conduct an environment impact study before undertaking the second phase of the project. No environmental impact assessment was made before the project was launched, he said. In the light of the findings, the KSSP demanded a survey to demarcate the boundary of the Sarovaram project site.

If the boundary of the project site was not delineated, the wetlands in its vicinity would get filled with waste and it would finally lead to destruction of mangroves.

Steps should be taken to prevent spectators at the mini theatre in the Sarovaram park from throwing plastic cups and similar non-biodegradable waste materials into wetlands. Nearly three acres of wetland near the toilet block had already got filled with waste and filth. The huge lights that lit up the park in the night and the high decibel notes from cultural programmes were scaring away the birds, Mr. Prasad said.

“In these circumstances, an environmental impact assessment study should be carried out before further work on the Sarovaram project is taken up,” he said.

He also appealed to the authorities concerned to call a meeting of government agencies and NGOs to elicit their views on the development of Sarovaram tourism project so that there would not be further damage to the fragile eco-system of Kottuli wetlands.

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