Environment Ministry notice to Kerala Cricket Association

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/K/KSA_stadium.jpg' class='caption'> Environment Ministry issues show-cause notice to Kerala Cricket Association for illegal felling of mangroves in Kochi to build a cricket stadium.

Updated: December 21, 2010 09:28 IST
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The Environment Ministry on Tuesday issued a showcause notice to the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) for allegedly felling mangroves in violation of green rules in Kochi for constructing an international cricket stadium.

The Ministry cited a report by its Bangalore regional office, which accused the KCA of violating environmental rules by destroying mangroves in Coastal Regulation Zone-I area at a site acquired at Parambimoola near Edakochi of Ernakulam district for construction of the stadium.

In its notice, the Ministry asked the the Chairman of the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) to take "appropriate action" in accordance with provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 under the powers which have been delegated to it and submit an action taken report to the Ministry within 15 days.

According to the report by the Ministry's Bangalore regional office, the site has backwater systems and photographic evidence mentions that till September 3, 2010 there were mangroves which were allegedly removed by September 22.

The matter is being investigated by the Kerala Forest Department and the KCA has contended that the area did not have mangroves.

The report, however, said the mangroves "appear to have been removed to a large extent" and the site is a "part of Ramsar site and is an important bird area."

The report concludes that "KCA has violated the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991 by land reclamation, bunding, disturbing the natural course of sea water, destruction of mangroves, construction and developmental activities", which are prohibited.

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