Tuesday, August 4, 2020

NGT has granted an interim stay on felling of coconut trees on Agatti Island in Lakshadweep.

Recently, the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has granted an interim stay on felling of coconut trees on Agatti Island in Lakshadweep.The bench of Justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta directed the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and the Lakshadweep Public Works Department to maintain status quo as of July 30 and not cut any more coconut trees till the next hearing in November.

Important Points
Background:
Recently, a petition was moved in the NGT over indiscriminate cutting of coconut trees for a beach road.
The tree-felling was violating the Union Territory’s (UT) Integrated Island Management Plan (IIMP).
IIMP was formulated on the basis of a report submitted by the Supreme Court-appointed Expert Committee, headed by Justice R.V. Raveendran, a former judge of the SC.
IIMP includes holistic island development plans prepared by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) for implementation by coastal States/ UTs.
The IIMP undertakes scientific approaches, coupled with indigenous knowledge for the better management of the islands and its resources.

Concerns:
1.Due to the large scale cutting of the coconut trees, local residents are affected by losing income from the tree produces.
2.Felling of trees poses an environmental challenge because the trees on the coastline act as a green belt to protect the rest of the island during cyclones and other natural calamities.


Facts about Agatti Island:
  1. It is at a distance of 459 km (248 nautical miles) from Kochi (Kerala) and is located to the west of Kavaratti Island.
  2. It has an area of 3.84 sq km and has a north-east, south-west trend with a long tail on the south.
  3. The lagoon area of this island is 17.50 sq km and there is plenty of coral growth and multicoloured coral fishes in the lagoons.
  4. Fishing is the most important industry of Agatti which is perhaps the only island besides Minicoy getting surplus fish. Next to fishing, coir (coconut fibre) and copra (dried meat or kernel of the coconut) are the main industries.
Source -The Hindu

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