On Thursday, a group of environmental, cultural and social organizations in the district protested against the implementation K-Rail. They claimed that it would negatively impact the natural ecosystem of north Kerala.
On Monday, a meeting of all the organizations under the All Kerala River Protection Committee led to the formation a solidarity committee to support the ongoing protests against K-Rail. T.V., state secretary of River Protection Committee. Rajan said that K-Rail along with the tunnel to Wayanad would result in large-scale destruction and water scarcity in the region.
K-Rail would need to be built in Kannur. This would cause the drying out of rivulets at Kuppam, Ramapuram and Perumba. It would also affect 637 species of plants, 142 species butterflies, 186 species birds, 60 species dragonflies, 24 reptile species and 19 mammals. The ecologically fragile Kavvayi lake, which was the point where seven rivers met, would become the third largest in the state. The lake and rivers would be cut off by the absence of laterite hills. K-Rail would have an impact on the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary and the lotus plantation at Thirunavaya. It would also affect Ponnani and Thrissur’s kole wetlands. The K-Rail would cross more 160 water sources. Mr. Rajan said that all this would cause extreme water scarcity in north Kerala.
The tunnel road project through the Western Ghats was opposed by the experts who claimed it would impact the hills’ ability to store rainwater. The tunnel that runs under the ecologically fragile hills would cause destruction of the Chalippuzha River, Iruvazhinji, Marippuzha, Cherupuzha, as well as a disruption to the flow of water to the Chaliyar. A tunnel through the Vellarimala and Vavul Mala and Thollayiram Kandi within the Ghats would require large-scale deforestation. Mr. Rajan also stated that the government was moving ahead with the project without an environmental impact study or clearance from the Forest Department.
The protest includes around 20 organisations, including the Western Ghats River Protection Committee and Prakrithi Samrakshana Samiti and Sarvodaya Mandalam. Lohya Vichara Vedi and National Centre for Nature and Environment.