MADURAI: The Kodaikanal municipality has recently assured the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that it would complete fencing the Gymkhana Marsh in Kodaikanal within two months. The municipality gave the statement in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by P Arumuga Velan, an advocate from Kodaikanal, seeking direction to protect and restore the Gymkhana marsh in Kodaikanal by installing fences.
According to Velan, the Gymkhana Marsh is a wetland that drains into the Kodaikanal Lake. It consists of several sedges which thereby filter water and enable pure water to drain into the Lake. It is the only serving marsh available in Kodaikanal.
The above marsh and the lake are the main sources of drinking water for many villages in the area. But the marshlands have to be maintained properly so as to maintain the water level in the lake. Instead, encroachments are permitted in the marsh and it is being converted into a dump yard in recent days and the authorities remain silent spectators to these illegalities, Velan alleged.
When the case was heard by a Bench of justices S Vaidyanathan and D Bharatha Chakravarthy, the municipality submitted that out of the total extent of 4,048 feet of the marsh, fencing for 1,509 feet has been already completed and the remaining would be finished in two months.
The municipality further informed that while doing fencing, the debris is also being removed periodically, adding that the restoration works would be undertaken under the 'AMRUT 2.0 Scheme'. Recording this, the judges closed the petition.