A Mangrove-Lined waterway for Kollam

If things move as planned by the Kollam district unit of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB), sailing through the Kollam course of the TS Canal, which forms part of the larger 168-km Kollam-Kottapuram National Waterway-3, will soon give the traveller a feel of passing through rich mangrove forests. The project is being initiated under the People’s Mangrove Reforestation Programme (PMRP) conceived by the district coordinator of the KSBB, P. Radhakrishna Kurup, a retired botany professor.After securing the nod from the State government, the project is now under implementation.Prof. Kurup said that the PMRP was being taken forward in association with the respective local bodies and the KSBB.Since some portions of the canal banks were under private ownership, a campaign to earn the cooperation of the private landowners had also been launched, he said.A good part of the canal’s course used to be mangrove forests in the past. Later, without realising the environmental importance of the mangroves, these were wantonly cut down.If the programme was successfully implemented, the district course of canal, by itself, would become a major tourist attraction, in addition to complementing environment protection and rejuvenating marine life. But the PMRP was not restricted to Kollam district alone, he said. “My goal is to revive the mangrove forests of the State from wherever they were eradicated,” he said. Prof. Kurup said that the seeds of love for mangroves were sown in his mind by his guru N. Ravi, a retired botany professor of Kollam SN College, who is known as ‘a champion of the rights of plants.’


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