The Union Government on Saturday expressed its willingness to restore the Pallikarannai lake and said it has sufficient funds for the project.
Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters during her visit to the Animal Quarantine Department and Certification Station here that the Centre intended to take the matter up and restore the lake soon.
Interestingly, her statement comes in the wake of a State Government plan to restore the water bodies in Pallikaranai, Porur and Perungudi under the first phase of Tamil Nadu’s lake conservation project.
The swamp area’s water holding capacity in the Pallikaranai lake has reduced from 1,600 hectares in 2001 to 950 hectares in 2008. This prompted urgent calls from policymakers and NGOs for governmental action.
As per the component, the Centre has to fund 70 per cent of the restoration of lakes while the state has to pay 30 per cent.
‘Ramsar’ Tag for Pulicat
The minister also said she would initiate steps to pursue Pulicat — the second largest brackish water lagoon after Chilika in Orissa — being declared a ‘Ramsar site’.