Joint Committee report on whether Vaiyavur and Nathapettai should be converted into a bird sanctuary, Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, 10/02/2021

Report of the Joint Committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (SZ) vide order of November 23, 2020 in Original Application No. 246 of 2020.

An application was registered by the NGT, Southern Zone on the basis of the newspaper report published in newspaper in Dinamani Daily. It was said in the newspaper report that there are two lakes namely, Vaiyavur lake having a spread of over 100 acres and Nathapettai lake having spread over of 500 acres respectively located on the left and right side of the road leading to the Rajakulam village of Kancheepuram district. These lakes attracted migratory birds and that it should be converted into a biodiversity sanctuary, the newspaper report said.

A Joint Committee was constituted to ascertain whether the lakes attracted more migrant birds for a longer period.

The Joint Committee report of February 10, 2021 stated that both the Vaiyavur lake and Nathappetai lake are manmade and under the control of the Public Works Department. With respect to Vaiyavur lake, the available stored water in the tank was barely enough to cater to the agricultural needs for just one crop season (3 months).

The Nathappetai lake has around 50 encroachments and the entire Kancheepuram municipal limit sewage was let into this tank through Manjal neer vaikal out of which 20% alone was treated water from the STP, the remaining was untreated and more over Kancheepuram municipal garbage dumping yard was placed in the foreshore of this tank. Therefore, all the chemical hazards are mixed with tank water and it was not fit for drinking purposes.

Further, the District Collector, Kancheepuram has stated that there are no standing trees inside the said lakes to support nesting of water birds but some of the trees present at the periphery of both the lakes are useful for perching. Mainly, the aquatic birds visit the lakes for feeding, but the number of birds is very less and conspicuous only during the rainy season (October to January). Hence, there was no possibility of converting the two lakes into a bird sanctuary.