Amid widespread flooding, Vedanthangal bird sanctuary does not have enough water
Campaigners say permanent solution is needed to ensure an uninterrupted water supply to the country’s oldest bird sanctuary every year
Sunday rains inundated many parts of Chennai and its neighboring districts, but the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, the oldest in the country, does not have enough water despite the start of the migratory season.
âThis is nothing new. It becomes a fight every year. Last year, water had to be diverted from an upstream spillway with police protection, âsays Chandrakumar, a local ornithologist and activist.
According to activists, rainwater from Lake Valayaputhur upstream from the sanctuary is discharged into the Maduranthakam reservoir and not into the channel connecting the bird sanctuary.
Two days ago, officials from the Department of Public Works (PWD) set up sandbags to divert water into this canal, and the shrine was starting to fill up, but local residents managed to push the bags of sand. sand, accuse the activists. Every year, the Forestry Department cleans the canal for seven kilometers so that water can reach the sanctuary from Lake Valayaputhur, but water supply remains a challenge. Last year, the tax authorities had to divert water to the sanctuary under police protection, they recall.
This has happened since 2009, Mr Chandrakumar said. Activists like him want a permanent solution to the problem because it arises every year.
âWhen there is no water, migrating birds will look for another place. In recent years, Melmaruvathur has attracted abundant waterfowl. But the country’s first and smallest bird sanctuary must be preserved, âsaid another activist.
This year the pelicans have come in large numbers and nest in the front itself after many years. While Sunday rain did not fill Vedanthangal and the nearby Karikili shrine, it rained in both locations on Monday.
âThe previous AIADMK government had a 4 crore proposal to provide a permanent solution. The DMK government must implement it this year to ensure the survival of the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary, âsaid Mr Chandrakumar.