Odd W. Jacobsen, an eminent ornithologist from Norway, has emphasised the need for taking up immediate measures to preserve the rich biodiversity around Pulicat lake.
Stating that the lake is ecologically important, Mr. Jacobsen asserted that by comparison, Pulicat is among the larger wetlands in the world that are home to a variety of fauna. He has been visiting the lake every year since 1998 to study the ecosystem in the surroundings.
The Norwegian ornithologist recently visited the lake area, accompanied by the Pulicat Lake Bird Lovers Society office bearers S. Gopinath Reddy, K. Venkatesh and G. Raghavendra.
Recounting his attachment with the brackish water body, Mr. Jacobsen said that he never ceased to be mesmerised by the rich biodiversity of Pulicat and suggested various measures for its conservation. He said that there was huge potential for bird migration in the lake regardless of the fact that some changes are being noticed in the bird count each year.
He wanted the mouths of lake inlets to be widened in addition to several other steps for removing encroachments, de-silting and for imposing strict regulations on eco-sensitive zones around the lake.
Mr. Jacobsen underlined the fact that Pulicat conservation would remain important as it serves as a feeding ground for important bird areas like Nelapattu, Vedurupattu and Kudiri tank and such other smaller water bodies. The lake is also useful for a lot of villages where nearly 50,000 people are directly dependent on it for their day-to-day living.
The PLBLS team explained to him about the steps they are taking for environmental education and conservation activities they are taking up through online and social media.
Mr. Gopinath Reddy explained that the proposed Dugarajapatnam port would destroy the entire ecosystem in and around the lake. He condemned the proposed reduction of the eco-sensitive zone from 10 km to 2 km to facilitate the process of port construction.