Downtown

‘A buffer zone around Guindy park needed’

Last Sunday around 200 people gathered at the Besant Nagar beach and formed a human chain to give voice to a cause, Save Guindy National Park (Save GNP).

The campaign is targeted not only at GNP but also at the surrounding IIT in an effort to create a buffer zone that would help in the protection of the rare species of plants and animals that are found at GNP. Among the participants at the human chain were residents, students (former and current ) of IIT, activists and nature lovers. Guindy National Park is one of the very few national parks situated within a city.

The area is losing its charm due to rampant cutting of trees and it needs a buffer zone where human intervention is strictly regulated. Nityanand Jayaraman, member of Save GNP, says, “The turnout at he human chain campaign shows the desire of the citizens of the city to see the park protected. It needs to be made an eco-sensitive zone, an area where human intervention will be kept to a minimum. A petition towards this end has been posted on the website change.org and thousands of supports have signed it. The petition explains in detail the need to stop the rampant felling of trees on the IIT campus. According to the petition, the college has constructed buildings and around 8000 trees were cut to do that. Construction of these structures is in violation of the Environmental Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act and the Wildlife Protection Act. Now the college plans to add 2,65,000 square metres of buildings which could lead to the loss of at least 10,000 trees.”

Such activity is alleged to have had repercussions.

It was reported that a female blackbuck was found dead at the Director's Bungalow at IIT Madras. This is said to be the second such incident in two months.

Not just for the safety of these rare animals, but the city too needs a breathing space, say members supporting the campaign.

Prakash R., a student of a school inside the IIT campus says, “IIT has been a great hangout for me and my friends since school and it is heartbreaking to see that some of our green spots have been taken over by concrete. Until 2006, we were able to spot many deer leisurely strolling near our school but now we hardly find them. There was a news that deer corridors would be set up within the campus. I am sure if that would help because deer should be allowed to move freely.”

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 9:30:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/a-buffer-zone-around-guindy-park-needed/article6203717.ece

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