Kochi: Noted environmentalist Prof M K Prasad, a prominent figure in the historic grassroot level movement to save the evergreen tropical rain forests in Kerala’s Silent Valley from destruction, passed away on Monday morning, his colleagues said here.
He was 89. He breathed his last at a private hospital here while undergoing treatment for Covid related complications, they said.
Prasad was a guiding force behind the national movement against the state government’s move to set up a hydro-power project in Silent Valley in Palakkad district in the 1970s.
Bowing to unrelenting pressure from ecologists, the government was forced to abandon the project.
The struggle was called off in the early 80s after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assured that Silent Valley forests will be protected.
Prasad, who held various academic positions in Kerala, including the post of Pro Vice Chancellor of Calicut University and Principal of Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, has also authored numerous books in Malayalam on environmental issues and popular science.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the demise of Prasad recalling his contributions as a leader of ecological movements.
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and Leader of Opposition the state Assembly V D Satheesan also condoled the demise of Prasad.