Kumbla: Rampant environmental degradation has been the bane of lands and waterbodies across the country. Conservation efforts so far have yielded mixed results. Environmentalists in Kasaragod district in Kerala have a challenge at hand as a quarry is set to come up at Kidoor where the first bird village (pakshi gramam) is being established.
A private company is behind the proposed quarry at the place deemed a biodiversity hotspot.
The land identified for starting the quarry is near the site earmarked for the bird village. Environmental activists have pointed out that the feathered friends would migrate to other places because of the constant blasting in the stone quarry.
More than 5 acres of land, under two survey numbers, have been bought for the quarry. Meanwhile, the process is on to declare the Revenue Department’s 10-acre land, adjacent to the proposed quarry, as bird village.
The Kumbla panchayat and Biodiversity Management Committee have submitted a report relating to the proposed quarry to the district administration. Though environment clearance was given for the quarry, it is yet to get the nod from the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) to use explosives for stone quarrying and the final clearance from the Mining and Geology Department.
Biodiversity Board holds review
A team of experts appointed by the Biodiversity Board visited Kidoor, following directions from the District Collector, to study the impact of stone quarrying on the bird village. The team led by Kasaragod Forest Range Officer N Anil Kumar had environmental activists Dr E Unnikrishnan and Prof. V Gopinathan, Central University Assistant Professor Dr Ramachandran Kotharambathu, Biodiversity Board District Coordinator Kiran Thomas as its members, and would submit a report to the district collector in a week.
“The work to start a quarry began after getting the initial clearance. We came to know about the idea of starting a bird village later. We could have shelved the quarry project if we were informed earlier about the move to establish a bird village. A letter has been sent to the Chief Minister regarding this,” said Mathew Jose, MD of Devadaru Agro Ventures Private Limited, the company that is planning to start quarry at Kidoor.