Residents of Mudichur are worried a road project will do irreversible damage to their water body which has been free from pollution thus far.
The bone of contention is a portion of the under-construction Outer Ring Road (ORR) that passes close to the Seekkanan eri in Mudichur.
According to records available with residents of Mudichur, the lake is spread over 10.32 hectares (a little over 25 acres) on three parts of survey No. 130 in Mudichur village panchayat, one of the 15 rural local bodies of St. Thomas Mount panchayat union.
Residents of Mudichur said a vast tract of the periya eri was lost due to the ORR project. In the case of the Seekkanan Lake, a bund on the southwestern side has been damaged.
Farmers said the Mudichur village panchayat was kept in the dark about the ongoing project and its consequences. They also sought to know if the St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union was aware of crucial details regarding the ORR project.
A huge pile of earth, dug up for the road project, has been dumped in the lake. Farmers said a few individuals were trying to usurp the property.
A member of the panchayat union said, a fortnight ago, the Kancheepuram district administration came down heavily on elected representatives found supporting those applying for ‘patta’ (land ownership documents) on land belonging to government. Residents hope the district administration will look into allegations of damage to the water body and protect the remaining portion of Seekkanan Lake.
The 62-km-long ORR project of the State government is being executed at a cost of more than Rs. 2,000 crore. It connects GST Road at Vandalur and Minjur after crossing National Highways 4 and 205.