Hi Green Soldiers,
This is going to be my first write up so please critic/comment if I've offended anything/anyone in any regard.
This is not a BIG Issue or may be it seems like that.
A month back, precisely in Jan, I was fortunate to visit a wetland which comes under Cochin Port Trust. It stretches to acres by the side of the Road which extends NH-17 to Cochin Port from Maradu, Kochi, Kerala. I was surprised to see the population which with my naked eye counts over 1000 as a total. The land had no boundary walls or nothing to restrict people entering the spot. The land lies near to the Indian Naval Southern Head Quaters and the same land had been used few years(3-4) back to dump wastes which the town/city was generating for which the ruling/opposing parties had no practical solutions on what needs to be done. The dumping continued for about 1.5 years and stopped after objections from Navy for the sole reason the predatory birds population had increased and were posing threats to their flying machines.
This wetland had a connection with the Backwaters courtesy of a canal which was built right across the Road which separates the Backwaters and the land.
As a result this wetland remained a special place for the migratory birds each summer and the number was on the rise it seems each year. As I had not seen so many previous years summer. Sadly it may be the last too. Recently since last 6-8 months there had been dumping of construction/piling waste at the canal end of the wetland and in course of time they had built a road parallel to the canal thereby breaking the water connection to the wetland. Also the mangrove vegetation has taken a beating with the building of the road which is intended to further dumping into the interiors.
I had noticed that the threat (but a little late) and called up the Forest Vigilance Officer who took great interest and visited the site within a week of intimation. He had reported to the government and sent a letter to the Port Trust office pointing out the issue and requested to cut a pipeline across the newly formed road to restore the backwater connection. But the dumping continues and it is sad to see that it has caused the wetland to dry up completely and so early when we are yet to hit the peak of the summer.
The population recorded by myself along with some un identified birds goes well over 1000. A rough census judging solely from my sight alone is as follows
Grey Herons - 20-30
Purple Herons - 20-30
Pond Herons - 50-100
Egrets - 300-500
Black Winged Stilts - 100-200
Painted Storks - 30-50
River Terns - 200-300
An unidentified bird(swims like a duck) that we could not get a decent picture comes around 200-300 as well
I will not say my protest will end here as we lost the birds from the no longer wetland recently and request you all to add comments to what else we could do in these cases. I tried contacting lot of BIG names but only to know that they are Too Big for me(I just was not able to contact them directly) and this case was really small scale to those BIG people to take interest on or may be they had bigger things on their plates. Pour in with suggestions and shoot questions if you need more details.
Attached images -
1- The canal which previously connected the wetland to the back waters
2- The dumping of piling waste into the wetland
3 - The newly created road which cuts the water connection to the wetland
4 - Then And Now