Report filed by the Environmental Engineer, Kerala State Pollution Control Board in application no. 439 of 2013 (SZ) (Chandran Pillai & Others vs Union of India & Others).

Matter and history of the case:

Munrothuruthu (‘Munroe Island’) is a place renowned for continuous settlement, in the Kollam district of Kerala. The Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami of 2004 triggered this major problem. The island is located at confluence of the Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River. Low lying regions of the island are facing progressive settlement which has become pronounced since the occurrence of Tsunami. The area has been affected by upward seepage of saline water during High Tide events, denoting the axial lowering of land mass.

Concerned with the rapid depletion of biodiversity, especially that of marine life and avians, the state wildlife board has put forward a resolution to conserve the biodiversity of wetlands that li

The Ashtamudi Lake in the Kollam District of Kerala lies in between 76.53°and 76.63° longitude and 8.93° and 8.83° latitude. It is a palm-shaped extensive waterbody with eight prominent arms, adjoining the Kollam town. This extensive estuarine system has a length of 16 km with a maximum width of 14 km and maximum depth up to 6.4m covering an area of 64.2 km2. The Ashtamudi Lake has been designated as a Ramsar Site (No.1204) in November 2002 and is also a major tourist place.

The survey was undertaken during the period from October -2012 to September -2013 in the Vattakkayal, Sakthikulangara panchayath, Kollam district. The major objective of this study was to find out the biodiversity status of fishes in Vattakkayal of Kollam district, South India.

Vincent Island has over 15 hectares of mangroves

The estuarine Vincent Island on Ashtamudi Lake at Shakthikulangara in Kollam is a private property covered by over 15 hectares of rich mangrove forests. The island is the only place in India where the rare yellow mangrove ( Ceriops tagal ) is found. But, the ecologically vital mangrove forests there stand threatened by development activity.

As summer sets in the next few weeks and many districts are staring at a severe drought, the slogan for World Wetlands Day this year -- Wetlands take care of water -- is a portent for the future.

Stringent action against encroachers

District Collector P.G. Thomas has said that a monitoring committee has been constituted as part of the measures aimed at ending unauthorised granite quarrying and sand-mining in the district. He informed this after presiding over a meeting on Friday to discuss the problems posed by such activities.

Ashtamudi Lake was declared a wetland of global import 10 years ago

On August 19, 2012, it will be 10 years since the brackish water Ashtamudi Lake with eight creeks was declared a Ramsar site by designating it as a wetland of international importance. The lake was recommended by the Ramsar Convention’s partner organisations as a wetland of 61.4 sq km. And the lake entered the Ramsar list as site number 1,204.

Spoiling all hopes projected by grand events organised to mark the Environmental day on Tuesday, about 50 mangrove trees were found destroyed on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake at Asramam alongside the Link Road on Wednesday.

The act was clearly mindless activity of the officials, while conducting a pre-monsoon cleaning of a culvert that leads to the lake.The trees belonging to endangered species including Ceriops tagal, Excoecaria indica, Sonneratia caseolaris and Aegiceras corniculatum were the destroyed, said a statement by the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad(KSSP), which demanded action against the offenders.