Fishermen rejoice over hardwon battle

Earth movers removing silt from the Buckingham Canal and the Ennore Creek come as a welcome sight to residents of several fishing hamlets in the area that had witnessed heavy flooding during December last.

For the past two days, work to remove silt from four spots has been in progress. R.L. Srinivasan of Kaattukuppam, who visited the spot along with Mugadwarakuppam president Venkatesh on Wednesday, said they had not expected the work to commence so soon after they had written to the district administration and other departments along with the Chennai Solidarity Group.

“It seems as if the government has understood that there is a need to desilt the creek and the canal,” he said.

“We are now worried about not enough silt being removed. Only about a foot or so of sand is being removed by the earth movers and there are no officials overseeing the work. Only if about eight feet of silt is cleared, it would it help us. About 10 feet of fly ash and debris was dumped. We want the creek to be restored to its old state,” said Mr. Srinivasan.

D. Joseph of Nettukuppam said that removal of dredge spoils by Kamarajar Port from several acres of mangroves would help restore livelihood of fishermen in the area.

“It is in the mangroves that prawn eggs hatch. The smaller prawns swim into the creek after the rain and when they are adults, our people will be able to earn well. The Vallur Thermal Project destroyed most of our mangroves. Now we are trying to salvage what is left. The work is now being carried out after directions from the Tiruvallur district administration,” he explained.

The Vallur Thermal Project had destroyed most of the mangroves, claim the fishermen

This article was published in “The Hindu” on 13th October 2016. Click here to get to the original version!

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