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Environmentalists on a high after NGT Southern branch pulls up offenders regularly.

- March 27, 2021

Chennai, March 27(BPNS)

The environmentalists and nature lovers of Tamil Nadu are on a high after the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern bench bringing in back to back orders against the offenders and encroachers of nature.

After the bench comprising of Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal  Dasgupta ordered the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd(SIPCOT),Cuddalore to prepare a comprehensive action plan and detailed health study to understand and reverse the severe contamination of ground water at its industrial area, the same bench has sought a detailed report on Pallikaranai marshland encroachments.

The bench said that it is not able to dispose of the case due to want of particulars regarding the encroachment and the steps taken by the government it was not able to dispose of the matter. Another reason is owing to the nature of proceedings pending before the Madras highcourt.

Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Gupta in its ruling said that the bench wants a detailed report on the nature of the marshland ,the extend of the marshland and encroachment. The council representing the state government that the report was ready and pleaded for some time to provided the report will be filed and the tribunal directed to file the report on or before April 19.

Environmentalists and natural lovers are happy that the NGT is active in taking action against those responsible for encroaching marshy land as well as polluting the ground water.

C Rajeev of Centre for Policy and Development Studies( CPDS), a think tank based out of  Chennai which is into environmental studies and on carbon footprints while speaking to BPNS said, “The NGT taking up issues like ground water pollution and  testing of water and pulling up organisations like SIPCOT if they failed to do that as well as calling for detailed report on marshy land encroachments and the nature of encroachment are music to the ears of the nature lovers. We are waiting for the final orders from the NGT on these”.

With the NGT actively taking up the issues and studying the matter in detail, there are possibilities of the pollution getting reduced as well as a curb on the encroachment of marshy lands.

Mahesh Krishnamoorthy ,activist and leader of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch(SJM) ,Tamil Nadu state committee while speaking to BPNS said, “The encroachers of marshy land and those who pollute our drinking water sources will have to be taken to the task for the future  generations. Water is our right and encroachment of marshy lands is a crime. Strong action is necessary to curtail this.”

According to a Comprehensive Management Plan(CMP) for Pallikaranai marsh land, there was a 6000 hectare area spread in 1906 but is now reduced to 690 hectares. The construction of IT corridors, National Institute of Ocean Technology(NIOT) ,Centre for Wind Energy Technology and residential complexes have led to the loss of marsh lands leading to a major degradation of environment.

It is to be noted that Pallikkarani is one among the 92  wetlands identified under National Wetland and Conservation Management Programme (NWCMP) of the Government of India. It has a rich diversity of flaura and fauna and environmentalists and bird watchers are of the opinion that the number of birds which frequent this marsh land is more than the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.