It will get 421 acres from Chennai Corporation for restoration work

The Forest Department, which plans to undertake restoration of the eco-sensitive Pallikaranai marshland, will soon get 421 acres for the purpose from the Chennai Corporation.

The civic body has initiated the process of handing over the marshland following a request from the Forest Department. According to sources in the Corporation, the area to be handed over is on the southern side of Radial Road near NIOT junction.

The area to be given is not being used by the civic body for dumping garbage. Corporation officials had conducted an inspection of the marshland recently with the Forest Department.

The land transfer would facilitate proper demarcation and hydro-ecological assessment. It would also establish the Forest Department as the single agency for better restoration and preservation of the area. The civic body is planning to use only around 200 acres elsewhere in the marshland for its solid waste management project in Perungudi.

The marshland has shrunk over the last four decades following the creation of residential areas around it, including Perungudi, Siruseri, Pallikaranai, Madipakkam, Taramani and Velachery.

Restoration of the marshland would ensure a freshwater source for the city.

Activists and local residents had also demanded that the Chennai Corporation hand over portion of the marsh to the Forest Department following a fire in the area.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012