Chennai

Desilt three estuaries of Pulicat lake, say fishermen

Fishermen of the Pulicat lake have urged the State government to take steps to desilt all three estuaries of the large brackish waterbody, two of which are in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The lake has one mouth at Nawabpetta, a second near Sriharikota and a third in Pazhaverkadu — all these allow entry/exit of sea water from the Bay of Bengal.

At present the Tiruvallur district administration is temporarily dredging the bar mouth at a cost of ₹18 lakh. Collector Alby John Varghese recently visited the spot and interacted with fishermen where they asked that dredging be done on a continuous basis at the bar mouth. “They also asked that facilities be created for tourists and boating for tourism be allowed. Requests for re-laying of roads, lighting and water supply too were made, which we will ensure are provided,” he said.

Community leader Durai Mahendran said they needed a long-term solution to the problem.

For the lake’s survival

“The depth of the water has decreased due to continuous silting. In some places the depth is as low as 0.8 m. If tidal flow is impeded due to closure of bar mouth, silting will continue, leading to the natural death of the lake,” he said.

Aarde Foundation’s founder and architect Xavier Benedict said the estuary kept shifting once in three years, which was why fishermen said the proposed seawall would not be useful.

“What is needed is an authority on the lines of the Lake Chilika Authority in Odisha. This is because the lake is spread across two States — Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is not a question of the livelihood of fishermen alone but also of the existence of the lake, which is Asia’s second largest brackish waterbody, covering over 712 sq.km.,” he noted.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:40:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/desilt-three-estuaries-of-pulicat-lake-say-fishermen/article36216061.ece

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