Monday, December 29, 2008

Riverside park

This is one of the grand ideas of Chennai that has been shaping up for a while. Billed as the first ever eco-tourism project in the state, the core of the idea is to restore the ecological balance of the Adayar creek and estuary area. The river itself has been considerably polluted; in many places, unchecked growth of slums has taken over the river's course, choking it still further. The Adyar Poonga hopes to showcase the potential of the river as a dynamic ecosystem, at least in the 'last mile' of its course.

While that may not be technically correct - the Poonga will be fed by a canal that runs off from the river just where Adyar joins the sea (does that make it a creek?) and will therefore be impacted by the coastal tides, too. In any case, once it is done, the Poonga will have restored this diverse ecosystem, which will in turn motivate similar projects along the Adayar's course, or along other rivers. But the scope of the Poonga is vast, by the standards of conservation projects in Chennai; the first phase, which is the public face of the Poonga, expected to be completed by December 2010, will cover about 58 acres, which is roughly a sixth of the 358 acres around the creek/estuary to be covered under the Ecological Restoration Programme.

For now, all you can see is some very basic information on the flora and fauna of the region; at this time of the year, there are quite a few migratory waterbirds that are nesting on an island just inside. With an opening time of 10 am, the Poonga's promise of visiting a forest and getting back to Chennai by breakfast time seems a tad out of reach just yet!


Belgrade Daily Photo said...

It sounds like a good project, I think ecotourism is the way to go.

Shantaram said...

>> Belgrade DP>> Let's all keep our fingers crossed on that!

Thanks for stopping by!!