Friday, June 01, 2007

vembanad lake is a huge lake/backwater/wetland combo in kerala. the famous cochin port is located on the lake on the place where river periyar meets with arabian sea.

vembanad lake, a very vital piece of inland water system of central kerala, lake can mesmerize you if you visit cochin.

apart from its breathtaking beauty, it also serves as very vital system for fishermen, farmers, common people (in terms of drinking water, water table levels, etc). it also caters to tourism in a big way.

a community reserve was proposed, which includes the heronry (breeding grounds for heron, largest of Kerala) in the KTDC Tourist complex, Pathiramanal Island and the lake part inbetween the KTDC and Pathiramanal Island. around four Panchayaths also agreed to protect this area as a community reserve.

out of vembanad lake of 200 sq km, just 3 sq km was proposed to be declared as community reserve. 1.5% that is(hindu puts this even down @ 0.27%). among many individuals/groups, kottayam nature society was one of the force behind this conservation measure.

the idea of conservation reserve is to enable, local people belonging to local panchayats to benefit from the lake and also manage the lake sustainbly.

but the bill was rejected by kerala cabinet. the main lobby being led by tourism ministry and other related ministries.

this case shows how difficult it is to get protection for a very tiny but crucial segment but at the same time tens of thousands of acres are being forced out and handed over on a plate to big time industrialists in name of 'development'.
(proposed conservation area in vembanad lake, central kerala)