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CHENNAI

Fishers oppose move on Pulicat

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Fishermen of Pulicat lake and environmentalists have criticised the alleged move of the State Forest Department to reduce the protective buffer around Pulicat Wildlife Sanctuary from 10 km to 500 m.

They expressed their shock in letters to the Union Government’s Expert Committee on Eco Sensitive Zones condemning the move which, they say, is designed solely to benefit polluting industries proposed to be set up in the Ennore-Pulicat wetlands.

The letters were in response to a media article announcing the Forest Department’s intent. In March 2019, the department approached the Expert Committee of the Union Environment Ministry seeking a notification to reduce the zone from 10 km to 0 km, which, however, was not approved.

The fishermen said the current move to reduce the zone to a mere 500 m was a bad idea since it would only benefit private companies that were likely to come up there. These industries would end up polluting the lake and its surroundings, said C. Parandhaman of Light House Kuppam.

Activist G. Sundarrajan said that reduction of the zone would end up damaging the lake, birds and animals.

“It is home to thousands of migratory birds and to crabs, shrimps and fish that are exclusive to the lake, which is spread over two States. The livelihood of fishermen depending on the lake, too, would be lost,” he said. The fishermen and the activists have urged the government to not reduce the buffer zone.

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