As many as 141 confirmed cases of dengue fever and five deaths suspected to be of dengue were reported in the State on Wednesday. One death due to suspected leptospirosis was reported from Kollam, taking the toll of fever-related casualties on Wednesday to six.

Unscientific disposal of sewage and pesticide residue from farmlands have contributed to organic pollution and chemical contamination of surface and groundwater resources in four river basins acros

Licensed granite miners have extracted more of the scarce natural resource than they should from the government sanctioned quarries in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts in Kerala, according t

High incidence of Hepatitis A in two grama panchayats

A study conducted by the district unit of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project into the reported high incidence of Hepatitis A infection in Thrikovilvattam and Mayyanad grama panchayats on the outskirts of Kollam city found that the disease spread from a common source-contaminated pipeline water supplied by the Kerala Water Authority. Ninety-two persons of Thrikovilvattam and 27 of Mayyanad were diagnosed with the disease last week.

Environmentalists have welcomed the intervention of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in protecting the Sasthamcotta freshwater lake in Kollam district.

Mr. Chandy will chair a high-level meeting in this regard on May 8. Terming it a step in the right direction, eco-activist V.K. Madhusudhanan, who had been taking up the cause for over a decade now, said conservation efforts should be supported by genuine, eco-friendly solutions. The lake was listed as a Ramsar site in 2002. Livelihood activities and biodiversity protection was also important. Serious concerns were raised only when the water level dropped alarmingly.

Syzygium travncoricum, a tree endemic to Kerala, is no longer ‘critically endangered’ as classified on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Field studies conducted by the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) in the wake of the IUCN classification suggest that the tree can now move to the ‘endangered’ list.

Known locally as kulavetti or vadhamkolli, the tree entered the IUCN’s ‘critically endangered’ list on the basis of a Conservation Assessment Management Plan (CAMP) workshop conducted under the Biodiversity Conservation Prioritisation Project India in 1998. The IUCN had then suggested periodic updating of the classification based on information provided by authoritative agencies.

A large area of the freshwater lake has turned grassland threatening the Ramsar site

The State’s largest freshwater lake and one of the 26 Ramsar sites in the country, Sasthamcotta Lake in the district is fast becoming a grassland.
While there are frequent government announcements of substantial fund allocations for conservation measures, nothing seems to be done for the lake which has been drying up fast since the last one decade

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Moves afoot to form task force under the Revenue Department. The Industries Department is understood to have mooted a proposal for constituting a task force under the Mining and Geology Department to check the exploitation and transportation of metals and minerals.

Indefinite relay satyagraha in front of panchayat office

A joint action council of environmental activists and people of Kalanjur panchayat, near Pathanapuram, in the district began an indefinite relay Satyagraha in front of the panchayat office on Monday demanding immediate closure of three granite quarries and a manufactured sand plant (sand making plant) operating there. The quarries are at Kalliparamala, Inchapara and Rakshasanpara, and the sand plant is at Pothupara.

The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has decided not to grant environmental clearance to any proposals coming under the Ecologically Sensitive Zone-1 of the Western Ghats.

The decision comes in the wake of a direction issued by the National Green Tribunal that the recommendations of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report should be considered while granting environmental clearance to projects in the ESZ-1 in the Western Ghats. ESZ-I areas are those which fall outside the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests but have been given the status of a protected area in the WGEEP report.

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