Chennai

Conserving the Adyar’s biodiversity

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The Adyar Nature and Environment Centre, which aims to preserve the unique biodiversity on the Theosophical Society campus and its environs, started functioning on Adyar Day (February 17). The Centre will document the flora and fauna on the sprawling campus and neighbourhood, help keep the Adyar beach clean, and inculcate a love for nature in children.

Tara Gandhi, a regular walker and member of the Bombay Natural History Society and Madras Naturalists Society, said the eco-systems inside the Theosophical Society are very conducive for plants and animals. “You get to see grassy areas, forests, ponds, coconut plantations, mangroves, gardens and a river... all these harbour wildlife and insects. The Society is very important for the whole of Chennai. The trees within absorb carbon and the open spaces help recharge ground water,” she said.

Retired kindergarten teacher Geetha Radhakrishnan, who has been a walker here since 1978, said the saplings she had seen some 35 -40 years ago had grown into huge trees. “To save the environment, I would not mind applying brakes to development,” she said.

Salinity problem

Retired scientist M. Srinivasan, who is coordinating the effort, said that they had just finalised an agency to do a study of the ground water inside the Society. “May be a solution will come up to reduce the salinity, which we hope will also help the neighbouring residential localities. Eventually we would like the centre to be a platform to bring all organisations that are trying to restore the Adyar river,” he explained.

Up to Independence, historian V. Sriram said, Adyar was not even part of the city. Apart from the Theosophical Society and Kalakshetra, there were only vast casuarina groves. Lands were held by three big land-holders.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:27:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/conserving-the-adyars-biodiversity/article22829494.ece

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