Wayanad, Aug 26 : The Mother Nature’s rage against the uninterrupted exploitation of her treasured environment by the greedy and influential has been far and wide in the hilly district of Wayanad that encompasses a good portion of the ecologically sensitive western ghat region, on August 8 of the past and this year where there are heavy rains, floods and landslides in Kerala.
But it was the aborigine Adivasis and the poor labourers, including the ones from the North Indian states, who had to suffer the brunt for the greed and selfishness of a few people who exploited the nature mercilessly. Besides human life, some still underneath the silt of the furious landslides, nature's fury destroyed properties, farm and infra.
Apart from the massive landslide occurred in Puthumala that claimed a dozen lives, there have been dozens of small and big landslides across the district. Though no lives were lost in these areas, the one at Chooralmala has been considered second big a landslide to the one destroyed acres of farming land and plantation in Puthumala.
Widespread and Illegal Mining
Despite cautioning by Indian Ecologist and writer Prof Madhav Gadgil to curb any kind of activities other than environmentally-friendly farming, there has been widespread mining happening even in ecologically sensitive villages in the western ghat section.
The mining lobby utilise a license obtained for quarry operations in one place and in a small way but spread its wings illegally to acres nearby under the guise of the legal permit. There has not been any official curb in such actions and the locals were mum in fear of retaliatory measures by the mining mafia.
Tourism going destructive
Thousands of tourists from around has been flocking the pristine hilly region of Wayanad with lush green valleys and plantations since for long. But, as the flow of tourists increased over the past years, construction activities too escalated and that too the preferred locations went deeper and deeper into the core of the forests.
Big players and the affluent were selfish to get going with concrete constructions inside or near the sanctuaries for facilitating rest and recuperation. The volume went unprecedented the past few years, obviously damaging the natural texture of the ecology and disturbing the flora and fauna.
As the proverb goes, “better late than never”, the district magistrate in his capacity as chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority has recently imposed curbs on permitting constructions in the disaster-prone areas by the local bodies.
The notification issued said the permission for construction and mining activities in the district would be based on environmental protection with an objective to avoid any natural calamities in future. The restrictions on building construction would be for commercial and industrial constructions in the calamity-prone areas.
Now the ball is in the court of the local bodies, the district authorities and the State administrator has to ensure that no more illegal activities like quarrying take place in the ecologically sensitive areas. Treat the nature good and the nature would reciprocate better. (UNI)