Storm water drain has been cleaned and desilted after a long time.

It has been a year since the merger of more than a dozen rural and urban local bodies in the city’s southern suburbs with the Chennai Corporation. Interactions with groups of residents in some of the recently merged local bodies clearly indicate that even after a year, things have not improved and that there has been no visible difference to indicate that the administration in the earlier set up was worse.

But there has been one bright spot amidst disappointment, at least for the residents of Madipakkam. The storm water drain discharging rain water from Medavakkam Main Road into the sprawling Madipakkam Lake has been completely cleaned and desilted. A glimpse at the drain makes it hard to believe that it was this same drain that once resembled a mini garbage dumping yard, full of refuse, especially plastic waste, mud and every other form of rubbish that could be seen in a dump yard.

During the Monsoon, Madipakkam Lake receives water from Keelkattalai, Moovasampettai and surrounding areas through a series of water channels. However, the principal channel is the drain that runs for about 200 metres from Medavakkam Main Road across Ayyappa Nagar and draining rain water into the lake.

 The desilting of the drain was carried out after persistent efforts by residents of the locality who have done immense work in preserving and protecting this crucial water body. The lake, measuring over 100 acres is among the few in this part of the city that has managed to escape from the prying eyes of land grabbers, thanks solely due to the vigilant residents of Ayyappa Nagar and also other pockets of Madipakkam.

An entire lake in Ullagaram-Puzhuthivakkam has vanished after it was taken over by encroachments, as per the information available with the Revenue Department of Tambaram Taluk. Moovarasampettai Lake has been under the onslaught for years due to dumping of garbage. Speaking to Downtown, Ayyappa Nagar residents said that the Public Works Department, Kancheepuram District Administration and now the Chennai Corporation could consider carrying out further improvement works on the lake and make it a centre of activity for leisure for all residents, especially children and senior citizens.

 Official sources said that annually, the PWD engineers would carry out a pre-Monsoon exercise, where vital water channels would be desilted to reduce obstructions to the free flow of water. Major works would be done along Okkiyam Maduvu, where surplus water from Pallikaranai Marshland would gradually drain, before discharging into Buckingham Canal and subsequently into the Bay of Bengal.

 Local bodies would also be carrying out similar works in storm water drains and channels that interlink various lakes within their jurisdiction.

The principal objective was to clear these channels of the silt accumulated during the previous Monsoon and to ensure there were no hindrances to the free flow of water and also prevent flooding of residential localities.

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