It will be known as Pallikaranai swamp forest block
TAMBARAM: A major portion of the Pallikaranai marshland in south Chennai has been declared a reserve forest area and brought under the Tambaram range of the Forest department, according to a draft notification issued on April 9.
"The proposal of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests sent in his letter for publication of the notification under Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Forest Act, 1882 is approved," says the notification.
Senior department officials said a special tahsildar had been appointed to specify the boundaries and the extent of the marshland to be brought under their control. From now on, it would be known as `Pallikaranai Swamp Forest Block.'
They said 317 hectares (about 793 acres) of the marshland had been classified as reserve forest area.
Earlier, it was classified under the Revenue records of the Kancheepuram district administration. For several years, nature lovers, environmentalists and civic groups had been pressing for protecting the area, as it was a natural habitat with rich flora and fauna.
Stringent action likely
With the department taking over the marshland, it would be possible to take stringent action against trespassers and those dumping and burning garbage there, the officials said. Provisions of the Tamil Nadu Forest Act and Wildlife Protection Act could be invoked against them. Pallikaranai is the 17th reserve forest area in the Tambaram Range, whose reserve forest area goes up to 5,627 hectares (about 14,000 acres).