Eco-restoration and Water harvesting in abandoned quarries –Ambalappara Quarry
First phase of the pilot project ‘Eco-restoration and rainwater harvesting in abandoned quarries was completed at Ambalappara Quarry by the BMC of Thrikkakara Municipality. ‘This was a pilot scheme for developing abandoned quarries into rain water harvesting areas and eco-restoration of degraded land. Ambalapara quarry, in Kakanad is spread over an area of more than 12 hectares with a depth of about 200 feet. The water holding capacity of the quarry is about 15180 million litres. Developing abandoned quarries into rain water harvesting areas and eco-restoration of degraded land was taken up with community participation by BMC. This is a flagship replicable model for sustainable management of degraded ecosystem, providing enhanced land use options for future in urban areas. As per the decisions taken at BMC meetings, any revenue generated will be deposited in Local Biodiversity Fund which will be utilized for conservation of biodiversity of the area and maintaining the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity.
Highlights of the project
- Around 2000 vetiver plantlets and 2000 saplings of 150 different species were planted at the site.
- A butterfly garden, medicinal plants garden, birth star plants garden was established.
- Medicinal plants for the garden was procured from Kerala Ayurveda Pharmacy and included climbers as Asparagus racemosus, Tylophora indica, herbs as Curcuma aromatica, Desmodium gangeticum, Rauvolfia serpentina, Shrubs as Bauhinia varigata and trees as Terminalia arjuna, Sapindus tripholiates
- Vetiver plants were planted along the quarry periphery which forms a permanent “bio-dam”
- Critically endangered species like Vatreria indica, endangered species as Hopea parviflora, and vulnerable species as Myristica malabarica, Saraca asoka are conserved in the area.
- Bio fencing along the Edapally canal was carried out by planting around 1200 riparian plants like Acrosticum aureum
- Birth star garden was instituted in association with the Social Forestry Division of Forest department and included plants like Strychnos nuxvomica, Mesua ferrea, Ficus bengalensis, Vateria indica etc.
- 500 saplings of various species were distributed to public.
- Intercultural operations of the existing coconut trees were done to increase productivity.
- Sixty coconut seedlings procured from Coconut development Board were planted along the riverside.
- A bird survey was conducted and the team spotted and identified 30 different species of birds.
- Birds and Butterfly survey and fish diversity study is being conducted to identify key local flagship species and umbrella species based on stakeholders perception.
- A documentary on Birds frequenting the place has been produced which is being screened to generate awareness about the need for conserving the biodiversity.
Construction of eco friendly bunds, provision of clean drinking water through rain water harvesting in quarry, water purification through reverse osmosis, value added products from weeds, such as drying and shredding weeds to be used as a substitute for coir pith in horticulture and floriculture is planned as also cage culture of native fishes is being promoted in the next phase of project.
Urban Biodiversity Conservation Programme
Conservation of urban natural ecosystem, ponds and other water bodies, and bringing eco friendly approaches for planned green development in urban areas through BMCs of Corporation/Municipalities and Resident’s Associations were undertaken. Under this programme 14 ponds were renovated in Thiruvanathapuram. The renovation work involved cleaning of the pond, solid waste management, landscaping, planting medicinal Plants, biofencing by vetiver, release of fingerlings of native fishes etc.