Mrs. A Latha, well known environmental scientist, a staunch anti-Athirapally agitationist passed away yesterday at her residence at Ollur, near Thrissur. Latha's life was dedicated to the movement against proposed 163mw hydroelectric power project at Athirapally near Thrissur.
The proposed dam will affect138.6 hector of forest land and lively hood of tribal families who are dependents on the forest produce and the river. Further, 28.5 hectors of riparian forest falls may get submerged which could hamper or dry up the flow of waterfalls, the mainstay of tourism and harness ecology at Athirapally.
Forest cover in Kerala has declined to 9 percentage from 44.4 percentage in1900, 14.7 percent in 1983. The dam, if it comes up could destroy endangered fauna species like tiger, Asiatic elephant, Great Indian Hornbill, Malabar giant Squirrel, Gaur and many. The Parambikulam Sanctuary and the Pooyam kutty forest, known as elephant corridor will also be affected where large areas will get submerged. 51-year-old Latha succumbed to the fight against cancer, Athirapally Project remains her unconquered fight against the dam in this rich forest.