Over 100 Acres of Marshland in Chennai Encroached Upon by Govt Offices, IT Parks & Residential Buildings
An amicus curiae team appointed by the Madras High Court said the Pallikaranai marshland that was more than 50sqkm 30 years ago had reduced to 5.99 square km in 2007. At present, it was only 3.17 sqkm in size.
The marshland at Pallikaranai in Chennai. (Credit: nammapallikaranai.org)
Chennai: Over 100 acres of marshland in Pallikaranai in Chennai has been encroached upon by central government offices, information technology (IT) parks and residential buildings. This was revealed by an amicus curiae team appointed by the Madras High Court on Monday. The court has asked the state to respond to it by August 21.
“There are several central government buildings such as MRTS (Mass Rapid Transport System) occupying approximately 100 acres, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) with 20.25 ha and the Central Wind Energy Technology (C-Wet), along with IT parks and residential buildings, within Pallikaranai Marshland… This threat needs to be investigated through rigorous scientific research,” the report said.
The report also found the marshland that was more than 50sqkm 30 years ago had reduced to 5.99 square km in 2007. At present, it was only 3.17 sqkm in size. “However, from an original expansion of approximately 5,500 hectares (recorded in the year 1965), this marshland has shrunk to about 600 hectares as of 2013 owing to large-scale development of residential areas, IT parks, institutions of higher education and related infrastructure over the last few decades,” the report said.
The amicus team has also highlighted that there were two dump yards used by the Chennai Corporation within the marshland that led to more ecological damage. “The forest department has requested the Chennai Corporation to make efforts to shift the dumping yard to some other place. The corporation had taken action to shift the solid waste dumping yard from Perungudi to Koothampakkam village of Thiruvallur district. However, residents of Koothambakkam objected to it and the proposal was stalled. The Chennai Corporation, while making efforts to locate a suitable alternate dump yard, should also take steps to reduce the area of the existing dump yard and not extend it further,” the report added.
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