KSEB project endangers Biodiversity: NCHRO Delegation visited Shanthivanam.
A delegation of the NCHRO Kerala Chapter visited Shanthivanam to obtain first-hand information about the work of Kerala State Electricity Board(KSEB) to install towers in Shanthivanam. The commissioning of towers may take a heavy toll on the green lung of the rich and abundant ecosystem of Santhivanam, the 1.98 acres grove at Vazhikulangara in Ernakulam district, Kerala. Environmentalists and nature enthusiasts are battling against the Cherai-Mannam 110kV power line which will pass across the groves and an electricity tower will be constructed right in the middle of Shanthivanam. Opposition to the project arises due to the blatant destruction of the ecologically important space which rather deserves protection and conservation. The voice to protect two-acre of ecologically-sensitive Santhivanam is getting stronger even as the KSEB wants to move forward with its tower construction proceedings on the land. The NCHRO team was composed of Secretary AM Shanawas, Abdul Salam, Muhammed Aslam and was headed by NCHRO Kerala Chapter President, Vilayodi Shivankutty.
The NCHRO team added that We haven’t succeeded in getting across how important biodiversity is, despite lessons from the floods that hit the State hard last year. It is absolutely clear that what is happening to our ecosystems has an impact on humanity. we should be more positive about our relationship with the natural world, effort to adopt alternate sites, better practices, or effective mitigation to reduce the ecological impacts on Shanthivanam should be considered. The benefits that nature can provide to people, and by trying to quantify what is lost when biodiversity plummets, the NCHRO hoping governments strike a more careful balance between development and conservation.
The rate of deterioration and disappearance is of major concern, due to urban sprawl and detrimental territorial development policies. There should be publicly accessible environmental impact assessments on every development project. The apprehensions raised by ‘Santhivanam Samrakshana Samithi’ should be heard. The fight to protect the green space for future generations should be respected. As societies, it is our duty to continue to demand that the states must listen to these agitators who safeguard and care for the environment and our shared resources, as it is they who are tirelessly working to chart our course towards a sustainable present and future.
Vilayodi Shivankutty, NCHRO Kerala Chapter President, added that the NCHRO would extend support to the agitators.