Facts for Prelims
Context: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a penalty of Rs 10 crore on the Kerala government for failing to protect the Vembanad and Ashtamudi lakes (Ramsar list of wetlands)
Issues: The wetlands had become polluted drains due to the dumping of pharmaceutical waste, plastic waste, household waste, and slaughterhouse waste.
The penalty levied per the ‘polluter pays principle’ should be deposited in a ring-fenced account, which should be utilized under the chief secretary’s authority for conservation or restoration measures.
|The largest lake in Kerala, the longest in India
|Second largest after the Vembanad estuary system
|Punnamada Lake (in Kuttanad), Kochi Lake
|Ashtamudi Kayal, Ashtamudi means ‘eight braids’ (8 branches) in the local Malayalam language
|Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Ramsar Site
|Houseboat and backwater resorts, Ramsar Site
|Yes, second-largest Ramsar site in India after Sundarbans
|Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the east coast
|The lake is situated at sea level and is separated from the Laccadive Sea by a narrow barrier island
|Unique wetland ecosystem, Gateway to Kerala Backwaters
|Vembanad lake’s water retention capacity had decreased by 85% in the last 120 years due to huge encroachment and devastation of its ecology
|It has significant amounts of waste accumulation