Road Project in Kerala Violates CRZ Norms, Encroaches Wetland Declared Ramsar Site

Reported by

Krithika ALand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 29, 2020

Location of Conflict

Kollam

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Kerala

Sector

Infrastructure

Environmentalists have opposed the Ashram link road project in Kollam district in Kerala as it falls within the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and is proposed to come up near the Ashtamudi Lake, a designated wetland. The area falls under CRZ-I and is a Ramsar site. This would require any construction activity by the Public Works Department to obtain permission from the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) under the CRZ Notification, 2011, as well as the state environment department as per the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010. RTIs to the State Wetland Authority Kerala (SWAK) reveal that no environmental impact assessment has been done for the project and that no authority has approached SWAK seeking permission. RTIs filed to the KCZMA also reveal that no permission was taken for the construction of the road.  Under Phase 3 of the INR 114-crore project, started on November 11, 2017, pillars were erected in the lake. As the construction enters Phase 4, it is estimated that eight acres of the wetland has been encroached upon and filled up for construction. Environmental activist Rahul V.I. filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the Kerala High Court against the encroachment of the lake. In the petition, he reportedly said that the Kollam bypass, which became operational on January 15, 2019, has made the need for the Ashram link road irrelevant. He also said in his PIL that construction of the road will severely affect the ecosystem of the Lake, which is already damaged due to the dumping of untreated sewage. On October 17, 2018, the court ordered a halt in construction and issued a notice to SWAK, KCZMA, District Collector, Kollam Municipal Authority, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Public Works Department, state government and the Centre. The case was last heard on September 5, 2019.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Legal Status:

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Kerala Public Works Department, State Wetland Authority Kerala, Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Rahul V.I., environmentalist who filed the PIL petition

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
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Documented By

Krithika A

Reviewed By

Krithika A

Updated By

Krithika A

Edited By

Krithika ALand Conflict Watch
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