Authority Gives Green Signal For Kochi Oceanarium Project

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   (2012-06-28 00:00:00)

KOCHI:The Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) has given in-principle approval to the estimated Rs. 480 crore Kochi Oceanarium project at Puthuvypeen.

The area identified for the project, initiated by the State Fisheries Resource Management Society (FIRMA), falls under the Zone one of the Coastal Regulation Zone. Experts had earlier pointed out that the project will have a major impact on the thick mangrove cover in the region.

Sources in the authority that the in-principle approval has been granted subject to certain conditions. The project proponents should submit a detailed project report on the proposed compensatory afforestation programme to make up for the loss of mangroves in the region.

A committee consisting of experts will be formed to monitor the implementation of the project on a regular basis. It will have the powers to enforce the regulations prescribed under the coastal regulation zone norms.

FIRMA had offered a proposal to relocate the flora and fauna of the Puthuvypeen area at one of the two sites identified for the purpose. It had also envisaged a detailed project for planting mangroves at a 20 acre holding near the Pokkali fields or at 40 acres at puramboke land at Valanthakad.

The society had also assured that it will plant all varieties of mangroves present in the project land at the selected site.

It had also agreed to take up the responsibility for its propagation, protection and management.

It is learnt that the authorityís decision to give in-principle approval to the Oceanarium project comes at a time when the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had made it categorically clear that land reclamation, building bunds, disturbing the natural course of sea water, destruction of mangroves and construction-developmental activities are prohibited in areas coming under the Zone One of the Coastal Regulation Zone.

In its earlier report on the Kerala Cricket Associationís international cricket stadium project at the mangrove-rich Pampaimoola in Edakochi, the Ministry had pointed out that the project cannot be permitted in CRZ-1 area according to the provisions of CRZ Notification 1991.