Birders organise cleaning drive in HMT forest area

The forested area of HMT, Kalamassery, was cleaned up by a group of birdwatchers on Sunday.

Large quantities of plastic, pieces of flex sheets and biomedical waste were removed from the area. The charred remains of electric wires, broken bottles and garbage was found in the area, according to those who participated in the drive.

The nearly 100-acre HMT forest, located on the outskirts of the city, is one of the bird-rich areas in Ernakulam. Birders have identified over 200 species of birds in the area. Recent studies have confirmed the presence of 25 species of spiders and numerous butterflies. The presence of rare birds was also recorded from the area.

However, uncontrolled littering and burning of refuse were posing environmental hazards, said K. Vishnupriyan Kartha, secretary of the Cochin Natural History Society, which organised the drive.

Except for the dumping of waste, the forested area is relatively undisturbed and free of construction activities. The Society has sought the help of the Kalamassery municipality in curbing the menace. The support of the HMT management would also be sought for protecting the area, he added.

The Society had plans to organise extensive cleanliness drives in the area by ensuring the participation of more agencies. A.K. Nishad, chairman of the health standing committee of Kalamassery municipality, who inaugurated the programme, had offered the support of the civic body in future campaigns, he said.

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