A. Srivathsan and J. Malarvizhi
Environmentalists feel the earlier plan to cover 58 acres is not sustainable
A. Srivathsan and
CHENNAI: The proposed eco-park in the Adyar Creek area, originally planned on 58 acres, will now be developed to cover the creek's entire expanse of 358 acres, it is learnt.
This follows concerns raised by environmental groups and citizens that an eco-park with the relatively small delineation will not be sustainable if the proximate ecosystem is not addressed.
However, officials of the Chennai Corporation, which has been instructed to remove encroachments, say they have been directed to provide alternative land to hut dwellers in the originally proposed 58 acres.
Rs. 100 crore allotted
The State Government has announced Rs.100 crore in the budget towards the development of the Adyar Creek. The same allocation was made in the last budget too by Local Administration and Town Planning Minister M.K. Stalin.
The Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited (TNUIFSL), the implementing agency, is working on a communication plan to let the public know about the vision for the Adyar Creek. It is coordinating the Adyar Poonga Trust the Government has set up to execute the project.
The Adyar Poonga is proposed next to the Ambedkar Memorial on Greenways Road.
"The project should become a model of how Chennai sees its water, of how it can be cleaned up over the next decade," says Joss Brooks from the Pichandikulam Forest Consultants of Auroville, who has been commissioned for the project. "The scene only looks idyllic. The water here is terribly polluted."
A master plan is being prepared for restoring the Adyar Creek. The dilapidated building in the fenced area adjacent to the Ambedkar Memorial now houses unfinished signboards. It will be remodelled to become an interpretation centre where schoolchildren and the public will learn about the ecosystems of the Coromandel Coast.
A heritage walk, mangrove walks, marine aquarium and park have also been proposed. "Ecologists and engineers from Auroville and international experts in wetland rehabilitation are all working together to turn a sick ecosystem into something healthy," Mr. Brooks says.