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.

Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday constituted a seven-member committee headed by the Kollam District Judge to look into the ways and means for the proper functioning of Kollam Corporation’s solid waste disposal plant.

The Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shaffique also directed the committee to file a detailed report regarding the merits and demerits of the present plant and also the measures taken to redress the grievances of the public in three months.

S. Prakash Menon, State president of the Hi-Way Action Forum, has said that any attempt by the government to forcefully acquire land under the guise of a new package for the development of the National Highway will invite stiff resistance from landowners.

The government had not cared to provide details about the National Highway development programme to the people. No study had been conducted on the social, economic, and environmental impact of the programme.

Minister for Forests K.B. Ganesh Kumar will formally launch on Monday the Vanadeepthi scheme of the Forest Department at Pathupara under the Pathanapuram forest range.

The scheme envisages rural afforestation by reviving natural forests. Vanadeepthi will be launched on a five-hectare spread at Pathupara. It was earlier a social forestry spread where acacia and eucalyptus were grown.

KOCHI: Having identified that a ‘waste to energy’ plant will solve the garbage disposal-related issues in the city, the Kochi Corporation is mooting the idea of setting up such a facility at Brahmapuram. It will be designed to treat plastic waste to generate crude oil.

A team consisting of the Mayors of Kochi, Kollam and Thrissur Corporations recently visited the solid waste treatment plant at the Pimpri-Chinchwad twin towns in Pune.

New options for processing degradable and plastic waste are being considered for Kochi.

The civic administrators of Kochi, who are touring Pune and Delhi for familiarising themselves with the innovative techniques of management of municipal solid waste, have extended invitations to two groups to demonstrate their methods in the city. A company operating a plant capable of producing fuel from plastic and another one which owns the technology for converting biodegradable waste into manure in 10 days have been invited to Kochi.

KOCHI: The ambitious ‘Matsya Samrudhi’ project, mooted in a bid to shore up fish production levels in the rural belts of the state, will be launched in June this year. The state government-sponsored project will jointly be implemented by the Fish Farmers Development Agency, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the Agency for the Development of Aquaculture Kerala (ADAK).

The `195-crore project targets to increase the production by one lakh tonnes within a period of three years. The project is expected to make the state coffer richer by `481.5 crore.

The Biodiversity Management Committees of the coastal local bodies will be actively involved in the campaign. Information on declining marine biodiversity, threats faced by the marine ecosystem, sustainable livelihood and conservation measures will be highlighted, he said.

The Kerala campaign will be led by the district coordinators of the board in association with experts in conservation, ecology and environment. The programme is funded by the National Biodiversity Authority.

KOZHENCHERRY: Water Resources Minister P J Joseph said that the coverage of Japanese Drinking Water Scheme would be extended to more districts in the state.

District Collector P.G. Thomas has said that tobacco use is a habit that does no good but brings misery to society.

“Therefore the habit has to be given up” he said while launching the “Tobacco-free Kollam” scheme at a function here on Thursday. The harm of tobacco use was that it was not only harmful to the user, but also to others who do not use it. So it was high time that people give up smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco products.