Work has commenced on a tank attached to an ancient temple in Rajakilpakkam coming under the Sembakkam Town Panchayat limits near Tambaram.
The town panchayat is undertaking desilting, deepening and other improvement works on the Alavattamman Temple Tank. A.R.D. Loganathan, town panchayat Chairman, said that the temple had a hoary past and the tank attached to it was revered by local residents and also by devotees far and near.
They had sent a proposal to the State Government following which the Directorate of Town Panchayat and the Kancheepuram district administration gave their nod for carrying out improvement works on the temple tank under the Anaithu Peruratchi Anna Marumalarchi Thittam.
Mr. Loganathan said that the State Government's allotment was Rs. 10 lakhs, while it gave only Rs. 2.5 lakhs. He recalled that Venkata Perumal, a philanthropist and a long-time resident of Rajakilpakkam donated a princely sum from his personal funds to spruce up the tank about 10 years ago.
The improvement work would not only increase the water spread area of the tank, but also step up the volume stored in it, thereby help in recharging the ground water table in the locality.
As it nestles in the midst of three wards (No. 5, 6 and 7), it will be of immense benefit to several hundred houses around the tank. M. Venkatesan, Executive Officer of the town panchayat, said that there are plans to provide a walkers' pathway with illumination around it. Landscaping will also be taken up besides creating a baby pond within the tank.
The town panchayat has been carrying out development works to the tune of Rs. 50 lakhs under the APAMT scheme. It includes installation of wells and deep bore wells at Tellus Avenue and adjoining places at a cost of Rs. 13 lakhs, installation of LED lamp posts and high mast lamps at important traffic intersections, creation of a park in Saraswathi Nagar at a cost of Rs. 14 lakhs and construction of a commercial complex in Maruthi Nagar.
Welcoming the initiative of the town panchayat and the State Government in spending resources for protecting water bodies, residents urge that bigger lakes and tanks should also be protected.
Within the limit of the Sembakkam town panchayat, there are huge lakes at Rajakilpakkam, Gowrivakkam and Sembakkam in addition to smaller tanks and ponds. Stating that they are exposed to threats in the form of encroachments and pollution, residents and members of civic groups have appealed to the Public Works and Revenue Department and other Government agencies to intervene and protect these precious natural resources.
There are plans to provide walker's pathway and create a baby pond inside the Rajakilpakkam temple tank.