Chennai’s Adyar eco-park to be redeveloped

A redevelopment plan for the next 10 years has been approved for the ecological landmark; it aims at augmenting the park’s nursery, and promoting it as an urban wetland ecosystem

Published - March 03, 2022 12:43 pm IST - CHENNAI

A file photograph of the Adyar eco park in Chennai

A file photograph of the Adyar eco park in Chennai | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Tholkappia Poonga, Adyar eco-park, a unique ecological landmark at the heart of the highly-urbanised Chennai city, will soon be redeveloped to last another 10 years.

At the 43rd meeting of the Chennai River Restoration Trust held recently, the Board approved the of a redevelopment plan for the park for the period of the next 10 years -- from 2022 to 2032 -- as it was imperative that the infrastructure facilities created in 2011 be reassessed for any improvements that might be required, such as augmentation of nursery activities, repairs to the compound wall, improvement to the spillway and desiltation in the water-holding area.

The Adyar Creek and the Estuary is located on the eastern part of Thiru. Vi. Ka. Bridge, with an area of about 358 acres. This unique eco-system supports a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The DMK government, when in power between 2006-11, had issued orders to restore the degraded Adyar Creek and Estuary. Accordingly, 58 acres of Adyar Creek were taken up in 2008 and restored as an Ecological Park and named Tholkappia Poonga (Adyar eco-park) in the year 2011. Pitchandikulam Forest Consultants, led by Joss Brooks, undertook the restoration work. They removed 60,000 tonnes of garbage and rubble from the site, created waterbodies, and planted close to 1 lakh seedlings of 172 indigenous species. The park has an Environmental Education Centre, and a children's interactive area. The nursery has specimens for medicinal plants, models for solid-waste management and renewable energy.

Now, the Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Service Limited (TNUIFSL) has invited technical and financial bids for the redevelopment plan. The main objective would be the redevelopment of the park for its sustenance and to enable citizens to study nature, understand and enjoy it in the context of an urban wetland, to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity resources in general and to plant certain species in particular. Also, there is a need felt to find if any new initiative was required to make the Tholkappia Poonga a robust centre in the field of urban wetland ecosystems such as providing watch towers and other infrastructure facilities.

The consultant would be required to prepare a Master Plan and a Detailed Project Report consisting of all designs, considering technical, financial, environmental, social, institutional rules, the legal framework and applicable rules and regulations of the government.

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