Environment directorate official inspects airport project site

The row over the proposed private airport project at Aranmula has taken a new turn with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) reportedly taking a serious view of the conversion of paddy fields and wetlands for setting up the project.

The MoEF had taken note of a report in The Hindu on February 2 (Airport project triggers widespread protest) and sought clarifications from the State government on the allegations that the site identified for the project included paddy fields and wetlands.

The Pathanamthitta District Panchayat will set up five small and mini hydro-electric projects as a joint venture of the grama and block panchayats in the district in the next five years.

This was announced by the panchayat vice-president, P. Vijayamma, while presenting the annual budget at the budget session held at the panchayat conference hall here on Wednesday.

Quarrying has been taking a heavy toll on Kerala's undulating terrain, altering the geo-physiological characteristics of the much-flaunted ‘God's Own Country'. There is, perhaps, no other place in Kerala as affected by quarrying as Pathanamthitta district where there are an estimated 800 quarries. A close look at the slow devastation being wrought in the district by the quarries even as the larger policy and ecological imperatives call out for attention.

Kuttanad Package to be taken up in three phases

The State government would soon launch various projects as part of the first phase of the Kuttanad Package prepared by M.S. Swaminathan Commission, said Sam Eapen, Upper Kuttanad Nelkarshaka Samiti (UKNS) president, here on Sunday.

The Central Travancore district of Pathanamthitta, especially its hilly tracts, is fast sliding into the grip of acute drinking water scarcity.

The summer had an early onset in January. Wells and natural streams in the hilly areas of Ranni, Konni and Adoor started drying up from mid-January onwards, leaving the common people in a difficult situation.

With a series of environmental problems and degradation threat looming large over the rivers Pampa and Achankovil in the wake of the recent Supreme Court order directing the Centre to implement the

Leopards straying into in villages nestling along the forest fringes in the State, attacking people and their cattle have become a matter of serious concern.

The killing of a healthy female leopard that had strayed into the small hamlet of Angamoozhy in the Ranni forest division by an unruly mob on Tuesday was the latest in the series of human-leopard conflict in the State.

Urbanisation, influx of pilgrims, fertilizer-intensive farming, and indiscriminate sand-mining have impacted on the water quality of Manimala river, a major source of drinking water in Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts.

A report published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, an international journal devoted to progress in the use of monitoring data in assessing environmental risks to man and environment, highlights the deterioration in water quality caused by human intervention, especially in the upper reaches of the Manimala river.

As many as 73,839 children below the age of five years have been administered with polio vaccine as part of the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme in Pathanamthitta district on Sunday, according to

The Pampa Parirakshana Samiti (PPS), a Kozhencherry-based prominent environmental group that has been campaigning for the cause of Pampa since the past two decades, have called upon the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to take immediate steps to cancel the clearance granted for the proposed greenfield airport project at Aranmula.

In a letter to the secretary, MoEF, the PPS general secretary, N.K. Sukumaran Nair, alleged that the clearance granted by the Environmental Appraisal Committee (F No. 10-51/2010-IA) for the KGS Aranmula Greenfield Airport project was based on certain “undisclosed and incorrect information, without considering the ground reality.’’