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Session11: Land use, urban planning

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  Chairman: Prof. Patil H. S

Rapporteur: Sudhira H. S

Reconnaissance of the East Coast of Tamil Nadu Survey on the Status of Wetlands and Potable water for Evolving Conservation and Developmental Strategies

Ilangovan K, Debahish Pattnaik, Kavitha D., Sudeep P., Smitha Krishnan, Mary M.S., Anbazhagi S., Muthuandavan L., & Sharma C.B.S.R.


Reconnaissance of the East Coast of Tamilnadu was carried out covering nearly 750Kms so as to gauge the role of Wetlands in the coastal economy. The entire stretch was divided into 11 sectors and each sector into units of 10km. The survey was conducted along the villages on both sides of the road and a few towards the eastern and western parts. Peoplesí perceptions were obtained through interviews and other data are recorded by direct field observations. Three surveys were made in all. 108 Bridges, 737 Culverts 150km of Storm drains were recorded. Nearly 570 water bodies were noted. The major wetlands include 11 Rivers, 15 Canals, 140 Tanks, 17 lotus Tanks, 70 Backwater areas, 23 Mangrove patches, 575 Aquaculture ponds and 10 sites of Social forestry. The status of water bodies was poor throughout the stretch.  Four varieties of water scarcities were detected; Out of 437, 140 villages have both water scarcity and saline water intrusion. The potable water status was worse to critical at many places and the seriousness of scarcity was equal at all sectors. Diversion of run-off into the sea has left many wetlands dry throughout. These wetlands play a major role in potable water status; its role is also vital in maintaining the ecological balance of the other critical Habitats along the Coast and Marine systems. 

Besides the natural changes, the development along the East Coast Road has hiked the pressure on the coastal systems. The wetlands that are already at critical stages will get eliminated if left unnoticed, which will increase the seriousness of the potable water scarcity. Documenting ecology of the entire coast is necessary for its conservation and Development. A suitable blue print for action for the East Coast on Potable water, Conservation and developmental awareness is likely to emerge from our Preliminary work. 

Address: Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences,†
Pondicherry University, Pondicherry 605 014, India