More security personnel will be deployed to man Pallikaranai marshland, in order to cope with poaching and degradation of the marshland. The Chennai Corporation is also likely to initiate steps towards preventing people from dumping construction debris along the marshland.

There was also a call for constructing a perimeter wall for the Pallikaranai marshland, the last surviving wetland in the city limits. Many of these steps were suggested at a meeting as part of discussing the Pallikaranai marshland management plan, on Monday. The meeting, which was convened by the forests department, was attended by representatives of the Chennai Corporation, NGOs and IT parks in the vicinity of the marshland.

The stakeholders at the meeting suggested that a large number of personnel were required on the premises of the wetland to stop the poaching activities there. Poaching continues to be carried out along the fringes of the wetland because of inadequate number of personnel to man the area. The stakeholders stressed the need for a perimeter wall to prevent poaching and to protect the wetland from any encroachment in future.

The participants pointed to the fact that the step would ensure conservation of the wetland and facilitate natural draining of excess water from its surrounding area through Okkiyam Madhagu into the sea. The participants said the meeting was the first ‘stakeholder meet’ organised by the Forests department and that similar meetings would be held at regular intervals.

This effort is part of the Pallikaranai marshland management plan which proposes to strongly regulate solid waste disposal, establish a wetland centre and encourage nature-based learning and recreation. The plan also recommended setting up digital boards, depictive murals, viewing decks and towers connected through walkways, aquaria, viewing telescopes, night-vision cameras and camera traps.

The Chennai Corporation, last year, set the ball rolling on the handing over of an additional 300 acres of Pallikaranai Marshland on the northern portion of the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam radial road to the forest department as part of the restoration of the marsh.

However, the need for a dumping yard has emerged a stumbling block for such a move now.

The civic body is using the area to dump municipal solid waste. The Corporation however handed over 445 acres of Pallikaranai Marshland on the southern side of the radial road to the Forest Department.