Chennai

Bloating dumpyard sounds death knell for marsh

Spreading out:The dumping site at the Pallikaranai marshland is extending out, blocking the flow of water from the southern hubs. This flooded the area in 2015. —Photo: M. Karunakaran

Spreading out:The dumping site at the Pallikaranai marshland is extending out, blocking the flow of water from the southern hubs. This flooded the area in 2015. —Photo: M. Karunakaran  

Corporation yet to prevent blockage of channel that drains stormwater

The Perungudi dumpyard has expanded rapidly towards the western part of the Pallikaranai marshland in the past few years, leading to a gradual blockage of the channel that drains stormwater from the city.

The civic body is yet to take action to prevent the dangerous spread of the dumpyard in the marsh.

A few years ago, the Greater Chennai Corporation planned to hand over 300 acres of the marsh on the northern portion of the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam radial road to the Forest Department as part of its restoration. However, the dumping of garbage has increased in the western part of the dumpyard, reducing the gap between it and the marsh to 50 to 100 m. The width of the marsh was more than 300 metres a few years ago, permitting it to carry excess stormwater.

Corporation officials said the sudden reduction of the marsh area in the western part was because of the dumping in the interior parts of the dumpyard after residents complained about frequent fires.

The civic body continues to dump 3,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste in the western part of the dumpyard every day.

Officials had planned to use biomaterial to create a wall between the dumpyard and the marsh to prevent the spread of the dumpyard. But the proposal failed to take off. The Corporation Council had already handed over 445 acres of the Pallikaranai marshland on the southern side of the radial road. Yet another proposal to construct a reinforced cement concrete wall to demarcate the 200 acres of the Pallikaranai marsh from the 300 acres of the ecosensitive marsh is also yet to be implemented.

The civic body has started a study on the land where garbage is being dumped. Such a study is expected to facilitate the integrated management of the Pallikaranai marshland for declaring it a Ramsar Site, named after the international convention to conserve wetlands.

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