The wall around the main bund of the Red Hills reservoir is adorned with messages on environment conservation and colourful pictures of the lake’s flora and fauna. The Water Resources Department has initiated efforts to create awareness against pollution, along with volunteers.
Ahead of World Water Day, schoolchildren and volunteers of Social Work Team Trust (SWOTT), an organisation based in Puzhal, had painted messages on the need to conserve the waterbody that feeds Chennai and protect its rich flora and fauna.
Officials said this was part of the ongoing efforts to create awareness of the need to protect the lake. Volunteers have completed painting pictures on the wall near the main bund facing G.N.T. Road to a distance of 100 metres. They would continue with the work at weekends.
Pictures of birds and their basic details were painted, based on the survey made by EMAI-Trust for Environment Monitoring and Action Initiating.
“We have sought EMAI’s support to create a butterfly park on the two-acre site between the bund and the road,” said an official.
The Water Resources Department has started a green drive around the lake, along with voluntary organisations. Of the target of 1,000 saplings, 300 have so far been planted.
EMAI’s project coordinator T. Murugavel said, “We found more than 50 species of birds, including orange-headed ground thrush and grey wagtail, during the survey. Some others were black drongo, blue-tailed bee-eater and white-breasted kingfisher commonly found in shrubs. We spotted purple heron, little cormorant, little egret and pond heron on the fringes of the waterbody.”
Shrubs need to be protected for birds to have breeding places. The lake environment has 43 species of butterflies. This ecosystem has wild plants that act as host and nectar-yielding plants that support butterfly species. More nectar plants are being planted to nurture biodiversity, he said.