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Tourism project needs Central nod
March 31, 2010

Tourism project needs Central nod

Says letter from the Forest Department on project near Kumarakom


31 March 2010

Staff Reporter, Kottayam:

The proposed tourism project at Metran Kayal near Kumarakom which has turned to be an ecological issue would need environmental clearance from the Central government, according to a letter to the Industries Department from the Department of Forests and Wild Life.

The Industries Department had sent the project report of the proposed Kumarakom Tourism Resort Village at Metran Kayal to the Forests and Wild Life Department for their comments in a letter dated December 1, 2009.

The Forests and Wild Life Department in its reply has said that as per notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, on September 14, 2006, the project falls under Category BI and hence would need environmental clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA)”.

It goes on to say that “as per the above notification, in the absence of a duly constituted SEIAA by the Government of India category B project will be treated as Category A project and may require clearance from the Centre”.

According to environmentalists the notification has categorised all projects and activities into two categories: Category A and Category B, based on the special extent of potential impacts on human health and natural and man-made resources.

The Metran Kayal project which envisages a resort themed township with an 18-hole international golf course, resort hotels and spa, cafes and restaurants street mall villas comes under Category B1 and would require Environmental Impact Assessment study.

Ramsar site

Letter from the Forests and Wild Life Department has also pointed out that Vembanad lake is a Ramsar site notified in 2002 and a large number of resident and migratory birds are seen in the paddy fields in and around the lake.

Already a project for integrated development of wildlife habitats, with a financial assistance of Rs.33.95 lakh from the Centre has been sanctioned, it has pointed out.

As per the letter the population of migratory ducks and teals have now moved away from the lake area due to constant disturbances created by the movement of houseboats plying across the lake through out the day.