Thursday, 6 June 2013
I stay near Vallarpadam ICT Road at Kothad. My house is in the middle of a paddy field. Fifteen years before i remember sowing pokkali in the monsoon rain. Now is greenery has gone for ever. With no farmers and old farming practices we have stopped the crop.
On the perimeter of our land strip we had coconut trees. With sand mining coming in the hands of gangsters and mafia our coconut trees were starved of with the river silt then easily available. The nut production has gone down and the coconut climbers have become a rare species.
I tried fish farming with rohu, catla, carp and mrigal but suffered a loss due to feeding cost and industrial pollutants.
We had some land near namboori thuruthu land near edekunnam cheraneloor. My uncle Late Muzhagunthara Vari Thomas taught me all the aspects of cultivating paddy. After he died we did not have a harvest. The corporation also came with dumping waste(now this place is AsterMedCity). The whole stretch of land is abandoned and bought over by a single owner (mafia/some one who have deep pockets) who can invest and keep his land idle for years.
Years before i read about Magarpatta city in Pune a city build by farmers. Inspired by the story i talked to many. But as an early bird i did not have fans.
One day on reading about Mr Ebenser in a Newspaper i talked to him about Magarpatta. Since he is my school mate and seeing a win-win situation he called me for a talk at his house on January 1st 2012 to start action. Advocate Abraham Manachery a pokkali land owner also joined at Ebeser's house. Thus Pokkali Land Forum was born
We dream of making a port city near vallarpadam
We told our story to Editor of Rashtadeepika Mr Jacobi, First he refused us saying that it is some idea to fill paddy fields. Later on he was convinced that we also have a case. He initiated publishing a centre page article on using Paddy Field for Container Logistics. Many land owners called us and shared their feelings. Later a report also came in Malayala Manorama.
We conducted many meetings finally we went up to Finace Minister K M Mani and asked him to include as budget recommendation. A memorable train journey to trivandrum made long lasting friendship with eloor munipal councilor Mr Joseph Anthony who is at present the President of Pokkali Land Forum.
Our humble effort made the government to make some relaxation in the current land use rules around ernakulam.
Long Live Pokkali Land Forum