Residents complained of garbage and sewage dumping and encroachment

The public hearing, conducted by Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT) in Chromepet, on three waterbodies saw emotional outbursts from residents and activists.

The meeting held in association with Voyants Solutions, for public opinion on the restoration of three waterbodies – Zamin Pallavaram Periya Eri, Keelkattalai Lake and Pallikaranai Narayanapuram Lake — turned into a complaint forum, as residents expressed their grievances on garbage dumping, encroachments, letting of sewage water and blocking of water channels.

Sajid Hussain, talking on behalf of Engineers’ Avenue Residents Welfare Association, Kovilambakkam, said the greatest polluter of Keelkattalai Lake was Pallavaram municipality, which discharged raw sewage into the lake.

Showing photographs of the sewage treatment plant discharging sewage into the lake, he told the organisers the beautification of the lakes would not work until sewage water and garbage dumping were stopped.

A. Balasubramanian of Kovilambakkam said the pumping of raw sewage was the prime reason for breeding of mosquitoes and faulted the municipality for not taking any steps to control mosquito menace.

T. Rathinapandian, founder, Forum against Corruption, and a resident of Pallavaram, questioned the officials on several unauthorised buildings constructed by encroaching upon the lakes and channels.

M.B. Nirmal, founder, Exnora International, said the construction of Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road sounded the death knell for the three interlinked lakes. He said the authorities must construct big drains similar to Veerangal Odai in Velachery, so excess rainwater would flow into Pallikaranai marshland.

V. Rama Rao, social activist from Nanganallur, asked why elected members and government officials were not present at the meeting.

A brief presentation on the three lakes, reasons for the waterbodies getting polluted and beautification measures was carried out.

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