Chennai: Residents in and around Tambaram have requested Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to immediately start the afforestation programme in Nanmangalam reserve forest before the onset of monsoon.
In a petition filed with the Chief Minister’s Special Cell, Dayanand, a resident from Pradeep and Karthik Avenue said, “The afforestation of the reserve forest should be done using native tree saplings. This in turn will help the ecology around the locality and preserve it bio-diversity. As we in southern suburbs seeing a sharp spurt in urban growth leading to huge concrete buildings, this reserved forest will act as an ecological balancer and as a catalyst for rain clouds to bring good rainfall in the locality.”
Amidst the concrete jungle, that the city is, there lies a lesser known green haven on the south of Chennai. Nanmangalam Reserve Forest located on the Velacheri-Tambaram High Road is one of the few places through which the city breathes. The reserve forest has an area of 320 hectares. However, it is said the total area of the forest is 2,400 hectares. More than 83 species of birds thrive among the thick foliage. The forest is also home to 500 species of flora. The tropical evergreen forest flourish across the hillocks and plain lands surrounding it. While the plain lands are covered by thorny shrubs, hillocks are engulfed by huge trees. However, conservation of the second biggest forest in the city remains a question mark.
Forest officials have appointed labourers to grow trees that consume less water inside the forest. Trees like mango, almond are being grown by these labourers to combat water scarcity.