High level committee to study restoration of marshland

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Chennai, Oct 16 (UNI) The Centre would constitute a high-level committee of scientists and experts from various institutions to suggest proposals to restore the Pallikaranai marshland on the outskirts of the city.

Talking to UNI after inaugurating a national seminar on recent trends in environmental biotechnology at the SRM University at its campus in suburban Kattankulathur, Department of Bio-technology Advisor R R Sinha said the committee, to be formed by his department, would comprise experts from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

Assuring all possible help from the Centre to the state to chalk out remedial measures to restore the polluted Pallikaranai marsh to its pristine glory, he said if the Tamil Nadu government comes out with a proposal to remove the dumps at 100 ft depth that contains nickel, cadmimum, dioxins, plastics and solid waste, the Centre would support it.

''It has to be a coordinated effort by both the Centre and the state'', he said and added that mass awareness has to be created about reduction of waste and segregating them at source.

''Planting more number of trees in the area is one of the best solutions for reclaiming the land from pollution. We can do it in consultation with the local people. Our department had done a similar project in Jammu and Kashmir. So with that expertise I think we can succeed in our efforts,'' Mr Sinha said.

Pointing out that the biotechnology department would rope in experts from various educational institutions like IIT and SRM, Dr Sinha said the use of microbes would help the absorption of heavy metals accumulated in the marsh.

Ms Sheela Rani Chunkath, convener, expert committee, solid waste management, Pallikaranai marshland, who was also present, said the marshlands had more than 200 varieties of unique flora and fauna and it attracts 104 species of birds.

She said about 1400 tonnes of garbage from four zones of chennai city corproation were dumped in Perungidi dumping yard per day.

''If adequate steps were taken and awareness created, it could be reduced to ten per cent'', she added.

SRM University Vice-chancellor P Sathyanarayanan promised all help from the faculty and students of the University in this campaign as the institution always accorded top priority for a pollution free and green environment.

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