Yedapalli wetland restored

Coonoor residents, led by members of citizens’ forums, students and volunteers, carried out an effort recently to repopulate the Yedapalli marshland in Coonoor with native tussock grasses, to promote better water retention and soil binding.

More than 70 people, including members of Clean Coonoor group, the Providence College for Women, Earth Trust Branch of Kodumudi in Udhagamandalam, and Make Ooty Beautiful campaign joined to restore a portion of the eight-acre marshland.

P.J. Vasanthan of Clean Coonoor told The Hindu that the grassland-marshland mosaic along with tussock grass once acted as a huge sponge, retaining water across the Nilgiris.

“The mosaic as a whole absorbed water during rain, and slowly released it during dry spells into the many rivulets that originate in these hills. The marshlands also acted as biological filters and aquifers,” he said.

Only a fraction of this unique landscape remains, due to conversion of large tracts of grasslands into blue gum and wattle plantations, while the few remaining patches have been taken over by exotic turf grass and lantana thickets.

The restoration was funded by the district administration, which sanctioned ₹1 lakh for the project through the Green Tax, he said.

The restoration of the marsh could help in solving Coonoor’s water problems, he said, adding that there were three other marshes in Coonoor that needed restoration.

Vasanth Bosco, a restoration ecologist working towards regenerating Shola forests and grasslands in the Nilgiris, and who supplied the grasses to restore the Yedapalli marsh said that most of the marsh had been taken over by the Pennisetum grasses. “There were very few shoots of native grasses left, and we have introduced Chrysopogon to the area, which will ensure that water is retained better and facilitates the building up of black soil in the marshland,” he said.

Thalakundah wetland cleaned

The Nilgiris forest division organised a massive clearing of plastic and other waste products at Thalakundah recently. Assistant Conservator of Forests K. Saravanakumar led the initiative in which more than 100 kg of garbage was removed.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 1:59:11 AM |

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