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Save Guindy National Park & Announce buffer zone around GNP! Stop Construction in IIT Madras

This petition had 14,460 supporters

The Guindy National Park (GNP) is dying a slow death by a thousand cuts. Green spaces that provided critical corridors for wildlife to move in and out of the park are being eaten into. National parks and wildlife sanctuaries require a buffer zone around them where human activities are strictly regulated and pressures on the ecosystem and wildlife are kept to a minimum. Without such buffers, parks have little chance for surviving in the long run. Such a buffer zone is legally mandated. The Tamil Nadu Government has refused to notify a buffer zone around the Guindy National Park.

This will mean that even the last remaining green spaces and the wildlife habitats around the Guindy National Park, such as the Raj Bhavan and Indian Institute of Technology-Madras' campuses, will have no protection under law. Along with GNP, the Raj Bhavan and IIT-M campuses contain the last remaining healthy stands of the rare Southern Thorn Forests and the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest types.

In 2010, environmentalists successfully staved off a threat to construct a 500-bed hospital in 4 acres carved out of the Raj Bhavan grounds. Already, over the last 10 years, IIT-M has constructed buildings over nearly 52 acres of wilderness by felling an estimated 8000 trees. All these buildings have been constructed in violation of the Environmental Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act and the Wildlife Protection Act. Even local body permission from the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority was not obtained. Now, the Institute plans to add 265,000 square metres of buildings which could lead to the loss of at least 10,000 trees and a compromised quality of life for the wild animals in the campus. More buildings doesn't just mean more space diverted from use by wildlife. More buildings mean more people. More people mean more traffic, more lights, more freshwater requirement, more garbage, more plastic, more sewage, more noise during normal days, and more noise during days such as Diwali or campus festivals. Even the act of constructing or demolishing will have a significant impact on wildlife and the environment.

A building and a college can be constructed anywhere. Rare forests cannot be moved, and critically endangered animals such as the Blackbuck should not be made to compromise their quality of life. Such wild and natural places are essential for children to be acquainted with in their growing up years for a well rounded life. Children of Chennai need to be left behind with these wild places that help experience wonder and mystery.

Chennai, according to reports, has the least green cover of all cities. Year after year, Chennai summers are getting hotter. Increasing vehicle population also means worsening air quality. Green spaces are critical for mitigating air pollution, and moderating temperature. Permitting more construction within IIT-M or Raj Bhavan and increasing the population pressures within these areas will have disastrous consequences for all of us.

We CAN stop this still, if we act fast and all together. Spread the word about the plight of the GNP by signing and sharing the petition and help to achieve a clean, green future in balance with the earth!

Save Guindy National Park; Save Chennai!

 Ask the Government of Tamil Nadu and Government of India to:

 a) Declare a scientifically-based buffer zone around Guindy National Park covering, particularly the IIT Madras and Raj Bhavan campuses, and the Gandhi, Kamaraj and Rajaji Memorials. 

 b) Prohibit any further construction within IIT-Madras and Raj Bhavan campuses with a view to ensuring that there is no further increase in population pressure on the already burdened campus.

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