Watchtowers at Pallikaranai marshland to be spruced up

Move comes days after a report in The Hindu highlighted the conditions of the watchtowers that are in a state of neglect

Updated - November 20, 2023 10:42 am IST

Published - November 14, 2023 09:30 pm IST - CHENNAI

Two of them are unusable while three others need minor repair.

Two of them are unusable while three others need minor repair. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Forest Department officials inspected the five watchtowers at Pallikaranai marshland on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. 

Of the five towers, the two at Perumbakkam PWD channel and Kamatchi Nagar are dilapidated and unusable, said S. Shanmugam, District Forest Officer, Chennai. The inspection comes days after a report in The Hindu highlighted the watchtowers’ state of neglect and how they are not being used by the public. 

According to Mr. Shanmugam, the other three watchtowers at Mahalakshmi Nagar, Chandrasekar Nagar, and Dr. Ambedkar Nagar are in good condition. They are being used by locals, said the forest officer, adding that some minor maintenance works have to be done. The former two towers are on the eastern side of the marsh, and are blocked by thorny shrubs at the entrance, while the latter is on the western part. “The structure on Radial Road is a water tank and not a watchtower,” said the officer.

Speaking to The Hindu, Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary to Departments of Environment, Climate Change and Forests, said that the watchtowers would be renovated. 

A one-of-its-kind conservation centre would be set up at Pallikaranai marshland, which is a Ramsar site and a wetland of international importance, at a cost of ₹20 crore. “We’re in the process of finding a consultant to prepare the DPR [detailed project report],” said Ms. Sahu.

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