A voluntary organisation of residents has contributed a handsome sum for the improvement of Chitlapakkam lake, a 50-acre water body near Tambaram.
The lake has been at the core of a movement by activists and residents who have been fighting for its protection for over a decade.
The S.V.V Trust handed over Rs. 10 lakh to the town panchayat administration, during a recent interaction with C. Rajendran, South Chennai Lok Sabha MP. Mr. Rajendran sanctioned another Rs. 5 lakh from his MP local area development scheme, taking the total amount to Rs. 15 lakh.
The proposed improvement work includes the creation of a walkers’ pathway around the lake, illumination and a children’s play area Mr. Rajendran said.
The Rs. 15 lakh will form one part of the funds for the proposed work, the rest coming from the State government under the ‘thanniraivu thittam’ or self-sufficiency scheme. For this project, the government will part with Rs. 30 lakh.
R. Mohan, chairman of the town panchayat, said that in a meeting with officials of the Kancheepuram district administration, a report had been submitted stating that improvement work on the lake would require an estimated Rs. 45 lakh. Now that the people’s contribution was ready, the State government would contribute its share soon, and improvement work would commence, Mr. Mohan said.
. Residents of Chitlapakkam, while welcoming the proposal, also urged the government to speed up paperwork that has lying idle to kick start an underground drainage project too.
During the previous government, spots had been identified to build pumping stations and other facilities, but all of a sudden, the project was shelved, they said. Unless all local bodies in the city’s suburbs had a drainage project in place, lasting solutions for water body protection could not be found.
Even in the case of Chitlapakkam lake, sewage from homes and commercial establishments invariably found its way into it from East Tambaram, they said.