Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary | People for the Planet
Updated: Sep 28
Since the establishment of Vedanthangal bird sanctuary in 1936,primeval water bodies,the water bodies, the migratory birds have learned to live together in harmony. Recently, the Tamilnadu state government granted 40% of the sanctuary's land to corporate Sun Pharmaceuticals who are already inside the core zone(5 km radius from the lake is core zone) and claims they are not(they are in 4km radius from the lake) . This article is about how the life of the villagers is getting affected.
A team headed by Yuvan, an environmental activist,interviewed the villagers. The villagers expressed displeasure in their own words" the farmlands are irrigated by the water from the wells which are now pervaded by the harmful effluents from the Sun Pharma industries."They also said that these effluents kill the crops and trees and they will eventually suffer from skin disorders, including their cattle. The water being not potable,unappealing in appearance, smells and produces in foam.
The main resource of the sanctuary,the water, is getting affected the most.Four common industrial solvents, were detected in the ground and surface water samples. The villagers, too made allegations that the Sun pharma is polluting the water resources.Drinking water from the wells is brimming with the black froth water, unfit for consumption.Sun Pharma effluents are also polluting the wetlands surrounding Vedantangal tank that are key source of nutrients to the birds.
Vedantangal bird sanctuary, being an agrarian region, may experience a loss in agricultural produce leading to acute crop failure.Samples of chemicals dibromochloromethane and dichloromethane found in the irrigation well indicate that irrigation wells may become defunct if these chemicals continue to pollute the wells.Similar kind of complaints have been registered by the farmers in the past, whose villages are near the Sun Pharma factory.
Vedantangal bird sanctuary, being very old, has started the practice of community protection since a long time.The farmers and local communities do not celebrate Diwali and other festivals, keeping in mind that it will stress the birds.Due to such measures,this bird sanctuary has been retained as a breeding ground for migratory birds for years. Sun Pharmaceuticals obtained clearance with the help of a bungled incompetent biodiversity report which doesn't even the mention the presence of migratory species. The villagers have been protesting since day 1 of inspection for clearence.
The Tamilnadu forest department, has forwarded the proposal to redraw the boundary of the sanctuary to be reduced for commercial use. The proposal has been forwarded to National Board for Wildlife(NBWL) for approval.Though the villagers could not continue the with protest due to the status-quo of lockdown, are till determined to save the flora and fauna of the Vedantangal bird sanctuary.