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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightPlastic Menace...

Plastic Menace Threatens Mangrove Forests of Kannur's Valapattanam

Plastic Menace Threatens Mangrove Forests of Kannurs Valapattanam

A considerable increase in glass and plastic waste dumping and flattening of mangroves by individuals pose a big threat to the Valapattanam riverside vegetation.

Mangrove ecosystems of Valapattanam and Pappinisseri, Kannur, Kerala are experiencing a sudden spike in the waste disposal and landfilling, thanks to less supervision from authorities due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Mangrove trees help form a natural barrier against violent storm surges and floods. Experts say Valapattanam estuary, being home to around thirty varieties of marine fungi, has rare species like Verruculaina enalia, Antiptodera chesapeakensis, Savoryella lignicolous and Periconia prolifca.

'Since authoritiesconcerned like the police are focused on containing COVID-19 crisis, people are taking advantage and flattening the mangroves with truckloads of plastic, glass debris, and degradable and non-degradable waste materials," a local resident told Madhyamam. "They are also bringing mini lorries to transport sand taken from the river bed illegally," the source added.

Unlike the rest of India, nearly 80 percent of mangrove forests in Valapattanam are under private ownership, causing barriers in conserving the ecosystem that protects coastline areas and slows erosion.

Absence of boundaries in the marshy mangrove area aggravates the exploitation and reduces chances of reclamation. The change in land use pattern likewise causes degradation of wetlands including mangroves.

The supreme court had ordered to shut down a mangrove theme park in the area long ago, citing ecological reasons. However, locals say land-filling has multiplied on a large scale ever since, owing to the construction of an access road to the park.

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