Ecological concerns hit phase II plan

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With the Greater Cochin Development Authority announcing the second phase of the Marine Drive project and readying to fill 150 hectares from Chathyath junction to one kilometer off Vaduthala for the purpose, concerns are being raised regarding the project’s impact on the environment.

Old timers say that in the first phase of the making of the current Marine Drive, 40 truckloads of sand were taken from the Periyar in barges for months together to mix them with mud and fill the backwaters to reclaim land.

With the Periyar sinking and left with little scope for such large-scale sand-mining, questions are being raised as to how the GCDA will find sand for the filling exercise this time.

The Aluva-based Associa-tion for Environmental Pr-otection has already written to the Central Ministry of Environment and Fores-ts and also the state chief secretary saying the reclamation itself is a violation of the Supreme Court order and also the Coastal Regulation Zone rules.

AEP secretary N. Ramac-handran said the project was being planned without conducting an Environm-ent Impact Assessment and asked the MoEF to conduct the same before any decision was taken. “Certain private parties too are reclaiming land violating rules which should be stopped”, he said.

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