Ennore-Pulicat Wetlands lost 667 acres since 2015: study

Several public sector undertakings have encroached on backwaters

November 20, 2020 12:56 am | Updated 12:56 am IST - CHENNAI

A report by the Save Ennore Creek Campaign, released here on Thursday, has alleged that several public sector undertakings have encroached on over 660 acres of the backwaters belonging to the Kosasthalaiyar river after the 2015 floods.

The Chennai-based activists have sent a copy of the report, along with a letter, to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who has several engagements in the city this weekend, drawing his attention to the encroachments by these government undertakings.

The letter, signed by several persons, including former Professor of Madras Institute of Development Studies S. Janakiraman, retired Madras High Court judge D. Hariparanthaman, Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna and human rights activist V. Suresh, asked the Union Minister to advise the Kamarajar Port to stop encroaching on the wetlands and ask the Centre to abandon any scheme in the region involving diversion of the wetlands. The port had encroached upon 114 acres, the letter said.

It also pointed out that 203 acres had been lost to a coal ash dump for NTECL at Vallur and 100 acres to an oil storage terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.

More of the wetlands are likely to be lost for projects including an eight-fold expansion of the port at Kattupalli, which involved the creation of 2,000 acres of land inside the sea, and more than 1,000 acres of land by encroaching on the Ennore-Pulicat wetlands.

Speaking at the event to release a copy of the report, Ennore fisherman Ravindran and G. Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal said that if industrialisation was important, it should be carried out on dry land and not on waterbodies.

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