Islander's doom

Published: Friday 15 March 1996

THERE seems to be no limit to the harm done on the environment in the name of development., At least one lakh trees - mainly coconut - are proposed to be felled to clear the ground for a proposed airport in Lakshadweep.

The local government has planned to construct an airstrip in the Apdroth island, capital of Lakshadweep. The administration has submitted the required'environment impact.assessment (MA) report and the environment management plan to the Union environment and forests ministry.

According to the EiA report, a total of 54,300 coconut trees would be felled to pave the way for the airport which will come up in 88.4 ha of land. However, a team of officials of Airports Authority of India, the administration and the environment and forests ministry have made some investigations which raise pertinent questions about the project. According to the environmentalist Pratibha Pande, the massive deforestation would affect the local environment, resulting in depletion of groundwater level which would adversely affect the coconut plantations in the island.

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