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Threat to mangrove forests

A.V.Ragunathan
The Hindu, 23 January 2008

Indiscriminate garbage dumping along the Uppanar blamed

CUDDALORE: The mangrove forests being raised along the Uppanar at Thevanampattinam here are facing the threat of extinction owing to an indiscriminate dumping of garbage and animal waste.

The mangroves act as a bioshield during cyclone and tsunami. Pichavaram is a salient example of how a bioshield could withstand the onslaught of the tidal waves. Hence, such unique vegetations are being planted by the Forest Department by spending lakhs of rupees along the Uppanar.

These stretches now present only patches of green because no care has been taken to protect the vegetations. During summer months, the Uppanar dries up thereby denying sustenance to the mangroves. Therefore, the authorities had made arrangements for cross irrigation through small channels.

But, of late, the dumping of garbage is choking these channels and affecting the growth of vegetation. While the private service providers are finding it convenient to dispose of the night soil at this point, municipal staff are unloading garbage with least worry.

Slaughterhouses too are stacking the vile guts along the water source, thus, causing unbearable stench and ecological degradation. In a representation to the Forest Department and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, M. Nizamudeen, executive secretary of Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation, has sought measures to stop to such violation and proper maintenance of the mangroves.

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