Three waterbodies in and around the city, crucial for improving the groundwater level in the surrounding residential areas, are to be rejuvenated by Neer Exnora with financial assistance from the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB).
The Sathangadu lake near Manali, the tank of Kothandaramar temple in West Mambalam, and General Kumaramangalam Colony tank in Kolathur, which have been neglected for several years now, would soon get a new lease of life, said members of the Neer Exnora.
The wing of Exonora International had sometime ago restored two tanks in Thiruvellavoyal panchayat in Ponneri taluk with the assistance of the OIDB, which was routed through Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited as a corporate social responsibility initiative.
The three waterbodies would be improved at a total cost of Rs.1 crore by this year-end. Members of the Neer Exnora plan to approach the government agencies concerned such as the Water Resources Department and the local bodies to seek no objection certificate to take up the project.
Residents of Manali said the Sathangadu lake, which was originally spread over 135 acre, has now shrunk in size due to encroachment. Moreover, untreated sewage from the neighbouring localities such as Tiruvottiyur was often let into the lake.
Neer Exnora's chairman S. Rangarajan, said a portion of the lake was allotted for various industrial units by the Industries Department, which took over the maintenance. Several structures have also encroached on about 10 acres of the water body.
“We are planning to desilt and deepen the lake and also build a wall around it to prevent dumping of sewage and garbage,” he said.
Improvement work would soon begin in the Kothandaramar temple tank, which is an important source for groundwater recharge in the area. The tank, spread over an acre, is covered with weeds and water hyacinth for want of maintenance.
The organisation also plans to rejuvenate the four-acre General Kumaramangalam Colony tank, which was heavily encroached upon. Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board is in charge of the maintenance of the water body, which is over a century old.
“We want to save the water body from encroachment and protect it by constructing boundary wall and desilting it. We want to restore it to its original glory of being an attraction to birds,” said Mr.Rangarajan.