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

IPPAI Conference,April 10 - Ancillary Services, New Technology and Alternate options

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.

Kerala Cabinet granted Rs. 25 crore additionally to the State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) on Wednesday to tide over its financial problems.

With this the total grants to the KSRTC during this financial year rose to Rs. 100 crore, in addition to the original Budget provisions. The Cabinet authorised Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to appoint a one man commission to study the problems related to backwardness of Nadar community.

District panchayat chief says allocated sum insufficient

District panchayat president S. Jayamohan has said that in the backdrop of Kollam being declared drought hit, the State government should make an emergency allocation of Rs.50 crore to solve the district’s drinking water problem. In a statement here on Tuesday, Mr. Jayamohan said the amount was urgently required to meet the expenses for transporting drinking water, pipeline extension, cleaning of freshwater wetlands, compensation to farmers who had suffered crop loss on account of the drought, renovation of the Kallada Irrigation Project (KIP) canals, and repair of pumps owned by the Kerala Water Authority.

The calving season of Nilgiri tahrs is under way at the park

The Eravikulam National Park, abode of the highly endangered Nilgiri tahr ( Nilgiritragus hylocrius ), will remain closed to visitors till April 4.
Chief Wildlife Warden V. Gopinathan said the two-month closure was an annual affair during the calving season of the tahrs. The closure was ordered on the basis of a report submitted by K.V. Subramanian, Field Director (Project Tiger), that the calving season of these mountain goats had begun at the park. Mr. Subramanian told The Hindu that kids were seen from the later part of January. Many of the female tahrs were heavily pregnant.

Dumping to invite prosecution; all plastic waste to be cleared

The Forest Department is initiating strong measures to get rid of plastic waste left behind by visitors to forest areas. The measures include prosecuting those found dumping plastic and other waste in forests and wildlife sanctuaries. Chief of the Forest Force R. Raja Raja Varma told The Hindu that dumping of plastic waste in certain forest areas with a heavy flow of visitors had assumed ominous proportions.

Alarmed by this year’s scanty rainfall and the drying up of water reserves in several parts of the State, the office of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has forwarded a recommendation to the State government to this effect.

The scarce northeast monsoon has failed to make up for the shortfall in the southwest spell during the past two years. The southwest monsoon’s share of rainfall this year was the lowest in the last seven years.

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.