Chennai: The Nanmangalam reserve forest is one of the major ecosystems in the suburb. It acts as the house to many species especially birds.
The forest covers a vast area of 2,400 hectares out of which 320- hectare is declared as reserved forest. The forest area lost its sheen and green during the cyclone Vardah 2016. If that was not enough, many miscreants started using the forest area for illegal activities which including drinking. Recently, a fire brokeout in the forest in which several trees were damaged.
In a move to put an end to this problem, the forest department recently started constructing a perimeter wall along the forest’s boundaries on Medavakkam-Tambaram road and Medavakkam-Madipakkam road. The work is now nearing completion and is expected to be finished within this month.
The forest department has also kept information board at several locations around the forest asking people to exercise caution in the forest area. The warning boards advices people who venture into the forest not to smoke, drink, carry fire or litter. People, however felt that the issue can be solved, only if the construction of the compound wall around the forest is completed.
Santhanam, a resident said that work for the walls began in 2011, but there was no progress and now it has been taken up.
The Tamilnadu Tourism Department has made arrangements to make the reserved forest a tourist spot.
It may be noted that the forest department launched a drone to survey the flora and fauna in Nanmangalam forest during May last year.
The technology was launched as part of the International Day for Biological Diversity, which was celebrated in a grand manner at the Tamilnadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project building that is located inside the forest.
Talking about the restoration activities that have been taken post Vardah, a forest official said that close to 7,000 saplings have been planted to restore the lost greenery.
“We have planted some fruit and flower-bearing saplings which will attract more birds in the future. We have also made sure that we plant only native saplings that can grow easily,” sources added.