Kerala science panel says ‘no’ to Medicity project

95% of island identified for the project comes under CRZ area

An expert team of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment has rejected the proposal to set up a Rs. 1,000 crore multi-super specialty hospital complex on nearly 150 acres in Chariyanthuruthu in Kadamakkudy panchayat for violation of provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2011 and Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITY

The project was proposed by a company involved in medical tourism. A former cricketer is a major stakeholder in the consortium that mainly comprises non-resident Indians.

Government sources told The Hindu that the expert team visited the Kadamakkudy site in January after the council received complaints that the project would harm the ecosystem in the area. Investigations found that 95 per cent of the island identified for the project came under CRZ (iv) area.

Only fishing and allied activities are permitted in this area according to the CRZ Notification 2011.

Reclamation is a prohibited activity as per the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 and provisions of CRZ notification. Constructions for commercial purposes are also not permitted in the area.

Scientists also reported that the wetlands in the area comes under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Reclamation, setting up of new industrial units; handling, storage and dumping of hazardous materials; permanent constructions other than jetties; discharge of untreated effluents and dumping of solid waste have been prohibited in these wetlands.

POKKALI FIELDS

The Medicity project envisages a 1,000-bed hospital, 50-bed ayurvedic hospital, medical convention centre and medical research centre, in addition to a medical college, dental college and para-medical institutions.

The site identified for the project forms part of pokkali rice fields, which has been a unique eco-system being home to a salt-resistant rice variety, which has won the Geographical Indicator Registration.

Kadamakkudy is among the panchayats that has seen rapid fall in area under rice cultivation in the district.

468 ad