The Forest department is working towards opening up the Pallikaranai marsh, which includes the Perumbakkam wetland, for public viewing from early next year.
The move is part of rejuvenation the marshland.
A walk path for 1 km has been constructed from Madipakkam signal till National Institute of Wind Energy, at the Velachery-Tambaram Main Road, Pallikaranai.
The department has also planted 6000 saplings across the bund of marshland, which include indigenous species like Aal, Arasu, Aththi, Naval, Neermaruthu. Magizham among others, according to a forest department official.
“70% of the construction work is over and remaining 30% would be completed soon and we are hopeful of opening the park for public view early next year,” he said.
The official also noted that one of the key challenges has been clearing the encroachments. There were about 1000 encroachers and about 40 have been relocated to flats constructed by the TN Slum Clearance board, he claimed and the process is under way for relocating others.
The official said that flamingoes would be one of the major attractions for the public, among other bird species.
“The move to open it for public view would give a face lift to Pallikaranai and help create awareness among public about the importance of the marshland and why it is important to save it,” The Nature Trust founder Thirunaranan KVRK said. He added that there are 178 species of birds which flock the marshland.
The highest bird count recorded was in the year 2014-15, which were 32000. The recent survey done for October 2019, showed a bird count of 15,257 birds, Mr. Thirunaranan said.
“The wide variety of species is more important than total number of birds. The diversity of species shows the richness of the place,” he said.