Hills razed in Attappady to build resorts and roads
The Hindu 25 November 2013
Though all the three grama panchayats in the Attappady Hills are listed as ‘A’ category (ecologically fragile land) in the K. Kasturirangan Committee report on the Western Ghats, large-scale degradation of environment has been reported from these areas.
The hills around Narasimukku in Agali grama panchayat on the banks of the Bhavani have been razed for construction of resorts. Roads were built by flattening land, causing soil erosion.
The destruction of hills is carried out under the cover of an order from the Village Officer of Agali, purportedly for taking up agriculture on the 20-acre land. Razing of hills has caused serious environment problems, said K. Sukumaran, convener of the Attappady Samrakshana Samithy. Streams and check-dams across the rivulets downstream have been filled with the eroded soil.
Mr. Sukumaran said parts of Attappady had turned into dust land owing to the removal of large quantities of sand.
At Nallashinka, three check-dams are filled with eroded sand from the construction of platforms for windmills, depriving the people of drinking water. At Kavundikkal and Kunnamchala in Agali village, construction of the platforms was taken up at 12 locations.
Unauthorised sand-mining and quarrying continues to be rampant in Attappady, Mr. Sukumaran said.
He said such large-scale destruction of the environment was going on in a place where the State government had completed a Rs.218-crore eco-restoration scheme implemented by the Attappady Hill Area Development Society.