Over one lakh mangroves will be planted in the Adyar creek as part of the second phase of the eco-restoration of the water body.
The State government has approved the commencement of work on this project that will cover 300 acres of Adyar Creek adjoining the Adyar Poonga at a cost of Rs.24.93 crore.
The first phase, constituting 58 acres involved the planting of 1.36 lakh saplings of various species.
Experts said that the second phase would mainly involve water body restoration. “So, one lakh saplings belonging to 24 mangrove species such as Avicennia marina, Acanthus ilicifolius, Rizhophora mucronata and other mangrove associates such as barringtonia and pongamia will be planted,” said an official of Adyar Poonga.
The eco-restoration of the second phase includes habitat restoration, monitoring pathways, sanitation, solid waste management and measures to enhance tidal influx in Adyar estuary and creek.
Adyar Poonga will seek CRZ clearance by the end of this month.
Initially, cleaning of the 300-acre-area earmarked for the second phase will begin in addition to work on additional stormwater drains by Chennai Corporation in residential localities around the creek. Metrowater has also been asked to immediately take measures to plug illegal sewer connections in the drains to prevent mixing of sewage in the creek. Estimates for construction of additional sewage treatment plant will be prepared by Metrowater before June.
The Corporation has already commissioned filtering mechanisms around Adyar Poonga for letting additional storm water drain into the existing 58-acre greenery.
Additional stormwater draining into the creek will recharge water in the 358-acre eco Park. The area covered under the second phase is said to fall under CRZ III category. The State spent over Rs. 23 crore for the first phase of eco-restoration.
Meanwhile, in a bid to curb dumping of debris and garbage in the Adyar Creek, the Corporation is likely to install additional bins and solid waste management infrastructure in neighbourhoods near the Adyar river.
Earlier this week, the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust had asked the civic body to install such facilities in the light of the dumping of debris and garbage into the creek. Adyar Poonga’s request to the Corporation to construct additional toilets is already pending.