An amicus curiae, appointed by the High Court in a case relating to illegal reclamation and pollution of the Vembanad Lake, sought a directive to Kottayam and Alappuzha District Collectors to file a report regarding the illegal construction of resorts and other home stays on the banks of Vembanad Lake and also on the efforts taken to regulate them.
In a report submitted to the court, C.R. Syam Kumar, amicus curiae, sought to call a report regarding the construction of the house boat terminal at Kumarakom fish sanctuary, a Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance), by the State government and as to whether it was done after obtaining clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Wetland Authority.
He suggested that a directive be issued to the State government to file a report on the constitution and functioning of the Vembanad Eco Development Authority (VEDA) and measures taken by the authority till date for the protection of the lake and its ecological system.
The amicus curiae further pointed out that the government itself had carried out a permanent construction of a house boat terminal at Kumarakom, violating the CRZ notification and without any clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
As a result, a fish sanctuary had been destroyed. Despite the terminal construction, it had not been so far used and was now in an abandoned state. Besides, a private resort was constructed close to the terminal, without obtaining permission from any authorities.
Though the State Wetland Authority, Kerala (SWAK) had directed demolition of the constructions, nothing had been done by the authorities, including the District Collector. In fact, as the Vembanad lake was a tourist destination, there had been a mushrooming of illegal resorts on the banks of the lake. There was no control or check by the authority on the indiscriminate constructions of resorts on the banks of the lake.