Watch how the wetland is:
Pallikaranai is the home of 920 flora and fauna and is the breeding ground for hundreds of migratory birds.
However its habitat has been in a deplorable condition for three decades, owing to the incessant dumping in Perungudi dumpyard on the other side of the radical road of the marshland.
Whats stopping change?
In the aftermath of a fire that ravaged the dump yard, Chennai Corporation decided to close down the existing dumping facility. It also considered shifting the dumpyard as an alternate to Perungudi to the outskirts of the city.
“We have proposals for new sites to process the mass solid waste (MSW). However problem lingers with these newly identified sites. Local people are objecting to the idea of bringing the city’s waste in the area. This would spoil the ground water level and other water body in the area.” said Superintendent Engineer of solid waste management, Uma Pathy.
Citizens of these new sites have taken to streets protesting the alternate dumpyard.
“Local citizens have filed a petition against the proposal in the National Green Tribunal. The case is going on. Until such time, we will continue to use the existing facility (Perungudi Dump yard)” added Uma Pathy.
Something to look forward
A large part south to the wetland near the Permbakkam Main Road has been declared a protected forest reserve with restoration work in progress. 45 crore rupees have been sanctioned for restoration of the habitat.
“Move to the south, you will find the core habitat where restoration has started and is in progress. Just walking by the dump yard you may find disposal of waste continuing, but with time the whole wetland would be restored. And we are walking towards it.” said KVRK Thirunaranan of Nature Trust an NGO, a part of activity of Conservation Authority of Pallikaranai Marshland.
A 200- acres garbage dumping site, mushroom growth of buildings, IT companies and flyovers surrounding the marsh contribute to the fate of Pallikaranai which looks uncertain.
However, with the efforts of restoration from Forest Department and Chennai Corporation, the mashland will walk towards a better future.