How long will the last green patch in Kozhikode survive?
How long will the Kottooli wetlands, one of the last remaining green patches in Kozhikode city, survive? Fast facing degradation due to rapid urbanization, encroachment and waste dumping, nature lovers and environment activists have long sought the government to take concrete measures to protect this ecologically significant stretch of nature right in the heart of the city.
It was the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad’s (KSSP) turn last month at its district conference to deplore unregulated construction activities in the sensitive region and government apathy. The KSSP pointed out several instances of illegal constructions in the wetlands in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone Act and urged the authorities to remove them. The Parishad also asked for it to be included in the comprehensive wetland protection project being prepared by the Kerala government.
Spread across more than 100 hectares, Kottooli wetlands is one among 27 nationally important wetlands listed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Many studies, including those done by Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), have highlighted the efficacy of this wetlands in Kozhikode’s ecosystem.
Apart from being a major reservoir and receptacle of flood waters, Kottooli wetlands is a primary recharge source for wells in the vicinity and is a rich mangrove habitat. By filtering and purifying surface water, it also acts as a cleansing system. A wide variety of flora and fauna thrive in the wetlands.