What Happened to the Greener, Southern Indian State of Kerala?

Published on: 13 June 2022
by Jithin Joshey Kulatharayil
A houseboat cruises on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala, India.

India is definitely one of the countries where climate change is having a huge impact on natural ecosystems. This article takes you to the south of India, to the Western Ghats, where the state of Kerala is located, which is known for its backwater cruises and splendid scenery.

For many years, Kerala has been one of the favourite places for both international and domestic tourists, especially those who enjoy the greenery. But has Kerala lost its ecological balance? Are people contributing to Kerala’s loss of biodiversity? 

In 2018, the state saw its first flooding on an unprecedented scale in a long time, which caused panic among almost everyone, particularly those who live on the banks of major rivers and others to a lesser extent. A significant number of people, even now or then, do not care or have awareness about the environmental destruction they create.

Violations of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) to a great extent have led to the loss of wildlife, lives, and property. However, Keralites are instead encouraged to promote a campaign called "We Will Fight Together" during the time of the floods. The following years—2019 and 2020— also saw widespread destruction in the form of landslides in hilly districts such as Wayanad and Idukki. Strangely, politicians often play the usual blame game after these disasters, attacking one another in TV debates. Eventually, people forget about it all until a new disaster hits the state.

For a while, the Mullaperiyar dam issue grew in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, and Idukki districts in Kerala because people were afraid that heavy rains during India's annual rainy season, called the monsoon, would break the weak dam, which was built during the colonial era, and make it hard for people to make a living in these districts. But that too subsided after the rain.

Keralites are literally living in constant fear, especially during the monsoon. Every year when the rains hit the Kerala coast, nobody knows what will happen. People and the government are on tenterhooks, at the same time clueless. The region needs strong regulation within its boundaries, and people should get rid of their self-centred mindsets. The future of the state is at stake unless and until a miracle happens. A request to people worldwide: let’s do our part when it comes to protecting the environment. Kerala’s current situation is a typical example of the lackadaisical approach of both the government and its people, and it should not be repeated elsewhere.

Source: KnowESG

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