Chennai: Pulicat bird sanctuary to shrink, 13 villages to gain

CHENNAI: The saint-like stillness of tall flamingos standing in the shallow waters and schoolchildren clambering on to bullock carts that wade across the lake to reach the mainland — these are the two common sights at the Pulicat lake bird sanctuary.

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is a 481 km² Protected area in Thiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu state and Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh in South India.

For long, the fisherfolk living in islets within the sanctuary have held that efforts to protect the pristine environs for the exotic birds have denied them the fruits of development. Now, some relief is on the way. The state forest department has proposed to exclude 13 villages from the limits of the 153-sqkm sanctuary to allow development works there.

A bridge is being built after the state government obtained special permission from the Union environment ministry; it will be inaugurated next month.

“When the sanctuary was set up in the lake lying along the TN-Andhra Pradesh coast, the villages were also included within its limits. The department has decided to exclude 13 villages from the sanctuary’s limits after realizing that it would not be affected,” said a senior forest officer.

From TOI


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