Forest dept to build wall to save Nanmangalam Reserve Forest

In a move that will prevent trespassers from entering and abusing forest lands in the neighbourhood, a large 4.5 km compound wall is going to come up at Madipakkam Koot Road near Kovilambakkam, surrounding the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest.

The Forest Department will also be undertaking efforts to increase water retention inside the forest land to benefit all the neighbourhoods between Kovilambakkam and Madipakkam.

The move comes after multiple illegalities happening inside the forest came to light. A couple of months ago, a drunk man was killed inside the woods near Kovilambakkam. It took a lot of time and effort for the police to nab the culprit.

Further, residents allege that tipplers have made the woods their haven and illegal felling of trees for fire woods also add to the woes.

Sources said as of now, the forest has only a 3.5-km-long wall that too on Tambaram-Velacheri Main Road. It remains completely open at Madipakkam Koot Road near Kovilambakkam which is the reason, a 4.5-km
wall will be constructed there. The wall will safeguard the forest resources.

Water retention activities to be taken up there include replacing excessive-water-absorbing eucalyptus trees with less-water-absorbing trees like Jamun, Banyan, Mahua, Badam, etc., increasing the number of percolation ponds from the present two and building check dams on natural water canals inside the area.

A Kovilambakkam resident, N Kamalakannan, said, “The activities inside the forest have created fear among us. In the night, the street lights don’t even illuminate the main road properly, let alone the forest land beside that. So, people find it unsafe to reach Tambaram-Velacheri Main Road from Kovilambakkam. We cannot think of sending women and children alone. I welcome the Forest department’s move to construct a wall. It will solve most of the problems in the neighbourhood.”

Another resident of the same locality, K Aravind, said, “While I welcome this decision, I fear we no longer will be able to enjoy a cool ambience on the road-side. But, if it curbs menace, we don’t oppose it.”

Water retention activities to be taken up there include replacing excessive-water-absorbing eucalyptus trees with less-water-absorbing trees like Jamun, Banyan, Mahua, Badam, etc., increasing the number of percolation ponds from the present two and building check dams on natural water canals inside the area.

A Kovilambakkam resident, N Kamalakannan, said, “The activities inside the forest have created fear among us. In the night, the street lights don’t even illuminate the main road properly, let alone the forest land beside that.
So, people find it unsafe to reach Tambaram-Velacheri Main Road from Kovilambakkam. We cannot think of sending women and children alone. I welcome the Forest department’s move to construct a wall. It will solve most of the problems in the neighbourhood.”

Another resident of the same locality, K Aravind, said, “While I welcome this decision, I fear we no longer will be able to enjoy a cool ambience on the road-side. But, if it curbs menace, we don’t oppose it.”

S Ben Raja