Hope for Pallikaranai?

A recent report in The Hindu said, ‘Urgent steps to save marsh promised’. It went on to say that the State Government would initiate urgent steps to ‘safeguard’ the Pallikaranai marsh according to TPM Mohideen Khan, Minister for Environment. He also said that garbage dumping and sewage disposal into the marsh is a matter of concern (at last!). The State Government will work with the Pollution Control Board, Corporation of Chennai, Tamil Nadu Water & Drainage Board and the Alandur Muncipality in this regard.

It went on to say that Mr Khan, in a detailed report tabled in the House, said that dumping of solid waste and sewage into the marsh and along the roads have caused environmental problems. I would add that the burning of solid waste dumped in the area has caused severe air pollution affecting the areas all around- from Thoraipakkam, Perungudi, Velachary and Alandur. On many nights, there is an unbearable stench of garbage that permeates the air for kilometres around.

Apparently the Pollution Control Board has served notices on the Chennai Corporation and the Alandur Muncipality to separate wastes at source so they can be converted into manure. I do recall the PCB also serving a notice on the Corporation and sewage tankers stating that dumping things into the marsh is illegal henceforth. As a resident of Perungudi, I can say that this seems to have had little effect, with Corporation and Onlyx garbage dumpers continuing to roar down the OMR daily, dumping hundreds of tonnes of garbage into the marsh.

The fact that there has been some level of sound and fury on the subject is good, for it means that people are beginning to take cognizance of the travesty that’s taking place to a precious wetland resource near the city. I only hope that Mr Khan and the Pollution Control Board are serious about stopping the damage to the marsh. Why don’t they declare the Pallikaranai Marsh and Wetlands a national wildlife or bio-diversity reserve so that everyone from the Central Government is involved in its protection? I thinks that’s the only way to get a stubborn Chennai Corporation to stop dumping garbage into it day in and day out despite public protests and official notices being served on it.

We who live in the area continue to wait in hope.

1 Comment so far

  1. nandhu (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

    The Pallikarnai Marsh was on Thursday Aug 31 declared a reserve forest area.

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