Tamil Nadu seeks Ramser site clearance for Pallikaranai marshland

Pallikaranai marshland (PML), the aquatic buffer of the flood-prone Chennai and Chengalpattu districts will breathe easy without encroachments and haphazard illegal construction activities if the centre accords the Tamil Nadu state forest department plea to declare the marshland as Ramser site, a top official said amid the inaugural of Rs 20 crore eco-park by Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday.
The inaugural of Rs 20 crore eco-park by Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday.
The inaugural of Rs 20 crore eco-park by Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday.


Over the past 13 years, the marshland has been getting the attention of chief ministers, but the buffer areas attached to the marsh have been facing pressure from realtors and the developmental activities is an issue to Pallikaranai as they increase flood flow speed reducing the sponge effect of PML and its catchment areas, the official said.
Earlier in the day Chief Minister Stalin declared the park open for the public and enquired about the conservation efforts taken to protect PML. "Stalin inaugurated the 2.5-hectare eco-park at Pallikaranai marshland established at a cost of Rs 20 crore. The park has a walking track for 2 kilometres and a massive 1700 metre compound wall with public green spaces. Detailed display boards on migratory birds, flora and fauna are kept and is now open for public,” a statement said. The statement also admitted that the Tamil Nadu forest department had sent a proposal to the centre to declare PML as Ramser site and noted that the marshland drains the stormwater collected from over 231 square kilometres through two outlets draining into the Bay of Bengal.
Pallikaranai is home to more than 459 living organisms, including plants, birds, fishes, mammals and reptiles. 176 types of terrestrial and migratory birds. As many as 50 species of fish varieties, nine species of snail, 10 species of mammals and 15 species of butterflies are recorded in PML, forest department sources said adding that the original size of PML reduced by ten times -- 7,000 hectares to 695 hectares -- now protected by the department.

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