Kanya Kumari  
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Environmentalists against lotus cultivation

The lotus culture in Kanya Kumari district has posed a serious problem to the tanks according to the eminent environmentalist Dr. R.S. Lal Mohan. According to him, the cultivators take the rhizome of the lotus plant and bury it on the tank beds. Then week after, the rhizome starts developing into a flower. To get larger leaves and flowers, manures are added to the water body without considering its side effect on the lake water. The manure ranges from urea to poultry waste to other organic wastes. The addition of this organic nutrition proliferates the growth of the weeds along with the lotus plants in the water opines Dr. Lal Mohan, --“The eutrophication ultimately degrades the ponds”. In 2007, Dr. Lal Mohan along with three other environmentalists filed a PIL in the High Court of Chennai (Madurai Bench) to stop the leasing out of tanks for lotus cultivation. The court order was not strong enough to stop the Public Works Department (PWD) from further leasing out of tanks. A judgment was passed which allowed the department to carry on the scheduled auction. “Soon the final hearing from the court will come up which will decide the fate of these tanks”, says Advocate Arul who is fighting the case.

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