In an effort to rejuvenate the Chetpet lake with a water spread of nine acres, the Fisheries Department is considering to develop the spot into a tourist attraction. As part of the proposal, it will remove water hyacinth plants, desilt the lake and perhaps develop space for visitors to sit and watch.

A report in this regard is to be soon submitted to the State government for its approval. “Such activities would help protect the lake. We would also be able to check the flow of untreated sewage into the waterbody,” said a source in the department.

The lake, which is in the heart of the city opposite the Ega Theatre complex, has a beautiful island in the middle with a tree. Residents of Chetpet recalled that till the 1940s, members of an anglers club used to utilise the lake. They would fish from the island in the middle.

Despite being covered with water hyacinth plants, the lake is still an attraction for many who walk down the Guruswamy bridge.

“It used to be a pretty sight earlier when there was clear water. It is sad to see it in such a state now,” said C.N.R. Selvaraj, who often takes that bridge.

A building to house a stall of the Fisheries Development Corporation is also coming up by the side of the lake. The department owns totally 15 acres of land in the area.

Meanwhile, the Corporation Council on Thursday adopted a resolution to construct a 1,475-metre-long stormwater drain from the lake to the Cooum at a cost of Rs.2.29 crore to carry excess water during monsoon. The drain would pass through New Bhoopathy Nagar, Pachaiappa's College play ground and Venkatachalapathy Street.

This would prevent flooding in the Kilpauk Medical College area.

Keywords: Chetpet lake

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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