Athirappally Hydel Power Project
- June 14, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Kerala government gives nod to Athirappally hydel power project
- It is 163-megawatt (MW) Hydro Electric Project proposed on the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district
- Around 168 hectares of biodiversity-rich forests in the Western Ghats would be submerged if the project got implemented.
- In addition, Kadar tribal settlements in the forests will be dismantled. The fresh move is even violative of the forest rights granted to the Kadars under Forest Rights Act.
- The project which was initially mooted by KSEB in 1996, had been in limbo with the local community strongly opposing the move, backed by environmentalists.
- Even the majestic Athirappally waterfall would dry up once the project comes up.
- Apart from flora and fauna involving four varieties of rare hornbills, even fish varieties in the Chalakudy river would be impacted.
- It is the 4th longest river in Kerala.
- Chalakudy River is the one of very few rivers of Kerala, which is having relics of riparian vegetation in substantial level.
- Chalakudy River is the richest river in fish diversity perhaps in India.
- The famous waterfalls, Athirappilly Falls and Vazhachal Falls, are situated on this river.
- For irrigation purposes Thumboormoozhy Dam is constructed across this river.
- It merges with the Periyar River near Puthanvelikkara.
- The Parambikulam Dam has been built on the Parambikulam River, one of its four tributaries.
- Riparian vegetation grows along banks of a waterway extending to the edge of the floodplain (also known as fringing vegetation).
- This includes the emergent aquatic plants growing at the edge of the waterway channel and the ground cover plants, shrubs and trees within the riparian zone.
- Riparian zones dissipate stream energy which slow the flow of water and reduces soil erosion and flood damage. Sediment is trapped, reducing suspended solids to create less turbid water, replenish soils, and build stream banks. Pollutants are filtered from surface runoff, enhancing water quality via bio-filtration.
- The riparian zones also provide wildlife habitat, increased biodiversity, and wildlife corridors, enabling aquatic and riparian organisms to move along river systems avoiding isolated communities.