First time, drive through the Madipakkam, Pallikaranai (marshland) and Sholinganallur-Akkarai (the extended areas of south Chennai) road after 2015 flood and really fed up seeing how things changed around esp. multi-storeyed buildings on the places where some water bodies or marshes existed not long ago. I’m never against development but what kind of development or cost matters and destroying a water body or lake or marshes could never gift anything to society… everyone knows the importance of fresh water and preserving the ground table water could never compete with any other. The December 2015 had greatly flooded the entire areas mentioned above and countless were rescued through boats and uplifted by helicopters, as well food dropped from same and the main reason for submerge of houses up to first floor were because of the construction on lakes and marshes. I had seen the transformation of these places from marsh grasslands to concrete grounds and had felt sad many a time how the water sources had turned to concrete blocks. It’s apparent that without government approval these are impossible… corruption, improper planning had made an unbalanced development and whatever reason we built in front us to justify, the nature rules out quite.
The Sunday outing had been disappointing seeing the disappearance of water bodies to concrete blocks and building and the only console was to see couple of lakes being dredged and waiting for the freshwater (though i doubt) from the upcoming monsoon. I stopped at the Madipakkam Lake view road for some time, and while having a coffee, I could see people relaxing in benches and taking walks on the paved public walk along the road and the lake. On the other side or east bank of the lake have rows of palms trees, which is a common sighting around the lakes in Tamil Nadu once, as these trees helps preserve ground water near and around lakes even during dry seasons. The Madipakkam Lake is also dry right now, where kids playing cricket but I wish it was maintained clean.
From there we went past the Pallikaranai marsh and it was another place to put me upset. The weather on Sunday was pleasant, and just coming out of a noon shower (rain), I enjoyed a super cool ride through rolled down windows. But it wasn’t same nearing the Pallikaranai marsh on Radial road, and we’re forced to close the windows quickly as it smelt very unpleasant. The very reason for the bad smell was, the Chennai dumping yard is located at the heart of marshland and I was shocked to see how speedily the garbage dump is swallowing the shallow marsh that’s home to many species of aquatic, fishes and birds. I have seen flamingos and pelicans in large numbers during migration season (October-May) and I would say, still it’s a best place for bird watch and I could see couple of watch towers but I really wonder how could one watch birds there when even standing for a minute is hazard to health! The Sholinganallur-Akkarai road passes through Buckingham channel is another spot I had seen birds and it’s an open landscape adjoining the channel is another groundwater preserving area sliding into the same pit.
|Pallikaranai marshland rapidly filled up by garbage dump, creating a great environmental destructive|