Pallikaranai Marshlands Turn Red

by Ann Samuel on  January 11, 2008 at 12:02 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
Pallikaranai  Marshlands  Turn Red
Environmentalists and naturalists  of Chennai,  capital city of India's southern  state Tamil Nadu   are worried.

 A portion of the water in the marshlands of  Pallikaranai   has turned red. Experts attribute this to the dumping of garbage in the marshland.

This is not all. This polluted water had wiped out the vegetation, in turn driving away small waterfowls, local migrants, the flora and the microorganisms from the area.

According to Jayshree Vencatesan of Care Earth, a bio-diversity research organization, the systematic dumping of garbage is reason for the water turning color. She says the discharge from the 4,000-4,500 tons of un-segregated garbage let into the marsh, has not only contaminated the groundwater in the region but also putrefied the surface water.

Defying public opinion, scientific inputs, and the norms set by a high level committee, which recommended that the dumping be restricted to 200 acres and active measures be taken up for source segregation, the garbage dump has gone on to virtually kill the entire northern segment of the marsh.

Collaborating with German environmentalists ,  Care Earth  also highlighted the major role of this dump in causing floods and health hazards to  residents of  Perungudi and southern parts of Velachery.

Vencatesan  says the discharge from the freshly dumped garbage has killed the chlorophyll-based life in the water, resulting in the change of color to red . " This is only the first stage before the water turns completely black and putrid" , she warns.

Now the polluted water is slowly creeping into   the southern part of the marsh, which is a reserved forest. Naturalists and environmentalists were demanding the protection of both the southern and northern segment. There was no point in protecting the southern part of the marsh while continuing to dump garbage in the northern segment, they emphasize . They call for an immediate testing of these waters by the  TNPCB .

Another hazard posed by the   garbage disposal  on the Pallavaram-Thoraippakkam Radial Road near the Pallikaranai marsh is risks faced by  motorists and other road-users .

According to a  senior Corporation officer ,  during  the night hours garbage collected from the nearby village panchayats are being  illegally dumped on the road. Recently, the Corporation used earthmovers to push the waste into the marsh again. In order to stop such illegal dumping, the civic body has posted adequate personnel to stop or monitor such activities. According to naturalists and Solid Waste Management experts, the only solution to the problem lies in   source segregation at home.

Source: Medindia

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