Wetland crisis by Nitya K


Wetland crisis by Nitya K

How do you think the Sholinganallur marshland was originally?

It was, at first, part of a 5500 hectares marshland. The original Pallikaranai. The survey of India and the Corona satellite photos both show that this marshland was 55oo hectares in 1965. The marsh began shrinking due to the development of the city around it.

Now there are only pockets of marsh remaining including the Pallikaranai marsh and Sholinganallur marsh. This was the original size.


This picture shows the shrinking of the marsh over time.


How is the marsh now??

The Pallikaranai marsh is 50 hectares, some of which is a landfill.

The remaining area is now ‘protected’ and is a bird sanctuary.

The Sholinganallur Lake, however, is not. Waste is being dumped in to it and even though the lake is not heavily polluted, it is still only the small remnant of what was once there.

How will the marsh be in the future??

I have 2 scenarios.


The lake is clogged with algae and rubbish and there are mosquitoes breeding. The whole place stinks and is prone to diseases.


The lake has disappeared. It is a concrete jungle with not a trace of greenery.  The migratory birds have nowhere to go.

What seems better??

Who are the stake-holders in the area??

  • The residents around the lake
  • The organisms living in the lake
  • The people who use the road nearby to travel
  • The people who work in the IT Park
  • Government

Are there any success stories in lake clean up??


The cleanup of the lake Washington. In 1958, a committee to clean the lake was formed. At that time 15 cities and towns discharged 20 million gallons of sewage into the lake. They closed the outlets and  by 1993 the lake was so clean that a disk could be seen from 25 metres below.

Nitya K

HLC International

Grade 8