Kerala has decided to seek the intervention of National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) to conserve and preserve the traditional way of life of the state's only tribal village, Idamalakkudi.
A team of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) recently visited the village inhabited by Muthuvan tribe, and found that some developments that had taken place there were not in tune with the eco-system.
Located in Idukki district, inside the forest, Idamalakkudi gram panchayat is spread over 106 sq km area, about 270 km from here. It has a population of 2,236 -- comprising 1,196 men and 1,040 women.
The KSBB feels that the intervention was required in areas like housing, electrification, drinking water and agricultural practices.
KSBB member secretary K.P. Laladhas, who led the team to the village early this month, said he was surprised to see tin-sheet roofs in the area. The tribals' traditional houses are environment-friendly huts made of locally available raw materials like wooden frames, bamboo sticks and small stones in combination with pasty soil.
"The need for our intervention is to enhance the strength of the huts for more durability by using eco-friendly materials," said Laladhas.
Electrification in Idamalakkudi is through solar energy only, but a decade old solar panels are in poor working condition.
For drinking water, the biggest problem is lack of proper storage facility due to hilly terrain. "Construction of check dams and introduction of rain water harvesting has to be taken up," he said.
Rice, ragi, vegetables and cash crops, like cardamom and pepper, are cultivated but the tribals have no method to store the excess, he rued.