Biodiversity areas: India
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Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in Madurai
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has notified Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in Madurai district as a biodiversity heritage site. The first such site in the state is home to several endemic species and historical structures more than 2,000 years old.
A total of 193.2 hectares in Meenakshipuram in Madurai taluk and Arittapatti in Melur taluk have been notified as the biodiversity heritage sites.
As per the government order issued by additional chief secretary of environment, forest and climate change Supriya Sahu, some hillocks in the area have rich biological and historical significance with the presence of around 250 bird species, including three raptor species, laggar falcons and other wildlife including endangered slender loris.
The area consists of a chain of seven barren granite hillocks as a watershed and supports 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools and three check dams.
The megalithic structures found in the area have Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, Jain beds and rock-cut temples which are 2,200 years old.
“The government has issued this notification to strengthen the biodiversity and to protect the loss of it,” Sahu said.
The purpose is also to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through this conservation measure. “It aims at instilling and nurturing conservation ethics in all sections of society. This will put an end to over-exploitation of natural resources and avoid environmental degradation,” she said.