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Thread: An Attempt misfired...

  1. #1
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    Default An Attempt misfired...

    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
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 03-03-2012 at 04:19 PM. Reason: removed external links

  2. #2
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    It is surely sad to know about the wetland. Was this road build by the Port Trust? What was the action taken by the officer after complaining to the Govt. and sending the letter to Port Trust?

    P.S - Since posting links to external photo sharing sites is not allowed, i have removed them. Can you please mail the images to moderators@indiawilds.com so I can post them in this thread.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  3. #3
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    Its complicated. The road was built to connect the airport with sea port, and the funny thing is that it is now in three parts waiting to be lined together in the two places. Its kind of a dropped project now. I had talked to a newspaper reporter who updated me on the situation that Navy might want that land to go dry as they might have issue for their flying machines as the approach path to the their runway is near by to the land. So not sure where this will go, but as I remember the days I visited the place which is only 5KM from home it was trully visual treat. Being a beginner and little knowledge of birds I was finding it exciting sigting new birds and coming back home and surfing to identify the bird.
    But now its all gone.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrudul Godbole View Post
    It is surely sad to know about the wetland. Was this road build by the Port Trust? What was the action taken by the officer after complaining to the Govt. and sending the letter to Port Trust?

    P.S - Since posting links to external photo sharing sites is not allowed, i have removed them. Can you please mail the images to moderators@indiawilds.com so I can post them in this thread.
    No action from the Government or the Port Trust as yet.

  5. #5
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    Good that you highlighted the issues. There are many such wetlands dying around the country unnoticed. Today many people have digital SLR cameras. Wish they too document the impact of mindless urbanisation and destruction of our wetlands, so that we can prevent those.

    Disposal of urban wastes is a big challenge as there is hardly any waste treatment facilities. There is also no penalty on people who are dumping wastes.

    The minimum that a person should do is to document, as you have done, and forward it to the local authorities and also to the highest authority of the State - The Chief Minister. You can register your protest by emails and letters and mark a copy to us at sabyasachi.patra@indiawilds.com so that we can track those.

    O/o The Chief Minister,
    North Block,
    Government Secretariat,
    Thiruvananthapuram,
    Kerala
    PIN – 695 001
    Phone: 0471 – 2333812 , 2333682
    Fax: 0471 – 2333489

    e-mail: chiefminister@kerala.gov.in , oc@oommenchandy.net

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
    Good that you highlighted the issues. There are many such wetlands dying around the country unnoticed. Today many people have digital SLR cameras. Wish they too document the impact of mindless urbanisation and destruction of our wetlands, so that we can prevent those.

    Disposal of urban wastes is a big challenge as there is hardly any waste treatment facilities. There is also no penalty on people who are dumping wastes.

    The minimum that a person should do is to document, as you have done, and forward it to the local authorities and also to the highest authority of the State - The Chief Minister. You can register your protest by emails and letters and mark a copy to us at sabyasachi.patra@indiawilds.com so that we can track those.

    O/o The Chief Minister,
    North Block,
    Government Secretariat,
    Thiruvananthapuram,
    Kerala
    PIN – 695 001
    Phone: 0471 – 2333812 , 2333682
    Fax: 0471 – 2333489

    e-mail: chiefminister@kerala.gov.in , oc@oommenchandy.net
    I have contacted the Forest Vigilance Officer Mr. Unnikrishnan and the Dr. Sugathan(renowned ornithologist and advisory to the government). They just updated me that a Letter had been sent to the ministry and to the Port Trust office already and Dr. Sugathan will be visiting the site to submit his findings next week. I guess we cannot expect things to go faster than this from the officials.

    I'm also not used to write letters either, so could you please guide to compile one. Is the way I have written in this post good enough to email it to the Cheif Minister?

    Thanks & Regards
    Krishnadas N Mallya

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