A temple tank in Villivakkam wears a deserted look. Around 30 years ago, it drew hordes of people.

R. Kavitha, now in her mid-fifties, remembers her mother drawing water, for cooking and drinking, daily from the Thiruveedhi Amman Temple tank on Mannadi Othavadai Street, Villivakkam.

Today, no one uses this tank for these purposes. The water body is filled with garbage, which includes plastic covers and is an eyesore.

Residents point out that if authorities step in and de-silt the tank, the water body will serve as a good source for recharging the groundwater in the locality.

“For the last 10 years, we have been fighting a futile battle for restoration of the tank. The tank is a vital groundwater source. With no steps being taken to de-silt the water body, people use it as a dumping ground. Even educated people are seen fling the garbage from their vehicles, into the tank,” J. Mary Fernades, a resident of Villivakkam, says.

And then, houses located on the east side of the tank indiscriminately let sewerage into the water body.

The tank has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and poses a health hazard, residents say. Years ago, a wall was constructed around the tank. We thought de-silting work to recharge the groundwater table was set to commence soon.

Now, a portion of the wall is broken. It is the result of a garbage clearance vehicle ramming it, the residents say.

According to an elected representative, a public representative committee has been formed to attend to the tank. Soon, we will be submitting a memorandum to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa regarding this issue.

More In: Downtown | Chennai