Under siege

The Adyar creek and estuary in Chennai is falling victim to 'development'

Published: Sunday 31 August 1997

environmental and citizen's groups of Chennai have started a campaign to protect the Adyar creek and estuary, situated in the heart of the city. They say that developmental activities of the state government are a threat to the natural ecosystem and common lands.

The creek and the estuary are habitat to hundreds of species of birds (including some migratory birds), 23 species of reptiles, five species of mammals, nine species of amphibians, and more than four varieties of crab. The olive ridley turtle and sea eagle can also be sighted in the area. Besides, mangroves dotting the southern bank of the estuary and the creek are breeding grounds for numerous varieties of fish.

In 1994, a government plan to construct a colossal auditorium and memorial was resisted by social groups who obtained a favourable order from the Chennai High Court. Now, there is a 15-storey twin-tower coming up on the northern bank of the creek barely 50 m from the waterfront.

Environmental groups say that there are no provisions for sewage disposal in the upcoming complex. They have launched a signature campaign to put pressure on the government to withdraw the plans. Young people from schools and colleges are also joining the protest as social groups are creating awareness about the ecological value of the Adyar creek and estuary.

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