Ennore creek erased from govt map, allege activists

CHENNAI: Two maps of the city given to environment activists based on RTI applications appear contradictory. The first, approved by the Centre in 1996, showed the presence of Ennore creek, spread over 6,569 acres, while the second does not have the creek at all.

Coastal Resource Centre founder Nityanand Jayaraman said it was the surprising that the creek, shown as a water body protected as a ‘no development zone’ under CRZ1 in the map presented after an RTI application filed in 2009, was completely missing in the map given after an application filed this year following a controversy over diversion of the Ennore wetlands.

Releasing both maps at a meeting here on Friday, the Coastal Action Network, Coastal Resource Centre, Save Ennore Creek Campaign and Ennore fisherfolk demanded an independent probe into the functioning of the State Coastal Zone Management Authority. The creek, they said, protected Thiruvottiyur, RK Nagar, Madhavaram and Ponneri areas from flooding.

Coalition of All Ennore Fishing villages leader R L Srinivasan said that converting the Ennore creek into real estate was akin to condemning North Chennai residents to a watery grave. “If we lose the creek and the Kosasthalayar floods during the next monsoon, nothing can save this city.”

Documents obtained indicated the map denying the existence of Ennore creek was falsified, the activists charged. The 2017 RTI response includes a 1997 letter from the Union ministry of environment and forests to a request for certain changes proposed by the state government for setting up a petrochemical park in Ennore, they said.
 Coastal Resource Centre member K Saravanan said: “We believe the 1996 map, declaring the creek protected under CRZ 1 is the correct one. The Naval Hydrographer, a scientific body, could not have ignored existence of such a large water body.”
 Two complaints have been filed with the state information commission seeking a probe into the matter, they added.
This article was originally published in the Times of India on 22/07/2017. It can be accessed here.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s