A visit to East Kolkata Wetlands with NGO “PUBLIC”
The Consul general of France in Kolkata, Mr. Damien Syed, visited on 4 August the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) with the team of environment and social activists Pradeep and Bonani Kakkar who chairs the NGO ‘’People United for Better Living In Calcutta’’ (PUBLIC).
For more than 25 years, the conservationists have been involved in the ongoing legal battle to save wetlands, which survive despite growing intentions based on the economic feasibility of the area.
The discussion with Mr. Syed ranged around measures being taken towards protecting this wetland. It has been the top most agenda for Mr. and Mrs. Kakkar who have saved these wetlands from encroachment by winning recently a battle against illegal construction at this site of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Credited with many fights to save wetlands, including the legal battle that led to the historic Calcutta High Court judgment in 1992, making the entire 12,500 acre of East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) inviolable, Pradeep and Bonani Kakkar have led determined and collaborative actions with multiple agencies - East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA), Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Kolkata Police - to preserve the wetlands. 20 000 families earn revenues there by way of fish farming.
The activists struggle to maintain the legal barriers to preserve this natural boundary which is vital for local ecosystem and essential for waste water management of the megapolis of Kolkata.