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Order to stop development work at mangrove park upheld
January 25, 2011

Order to stop development work at mangrove park upheld


25 January 2011

Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday upheld the order of the Additional Director, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, directing the Pappinisseri Eco Tourism Society in Kannur to stop all development activities in its mangrove theme park.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Thomas P. Joseph, upheld the order while dismissing a writ petition filed by N. Unnikannan, president of the society, challenging the order.

The Additional Director had issued the order on October 6, 2010 on the ground of violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms and provision of the Environmental Protection Act and rules by the society.

The court observed that it was revealed by the material on record that the Pappinisseri society had undertaken the activities which were prohibited in the Coastal Regulation Zone-I.

The court, which had gone through the reports prepared by a scientist of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and also the map of the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority, observed that the activities had violated the Environment Protection Act and rules and affected the fragile eco-system of the area.

Dismissing the contention of the society, the court observed that material on record was sufficient to hold that the area where the park was located came within the Coastal Regulation Zone-I.

The court said the material revealed that the park was established on a stretch of mangrove forest on the banks of the Valappattanam river. The map indicated that the major portion of the area was mangrove eco-system and it was ecologically sensitive. The court was not inclined to accept the contention of the society that there was evidence to show that the mangroves were planted in its property in 2004.