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Plan to make ‘lake adoption’ a mass movement

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STRESSING ITS NEED: Tiruvallur Collector Rajendra Kumar speaking at a function to launch water bodies’ adoption programme at SRM Eswari Engineering College recently.
STRESSING ITS NEED: Tiruvallur Collector Rajendra Kumar speaking at a function to launch water bodies’ adoption programme at SRM Eswari Engineering College recently.

Special Correspondent

10 water bodies in State adopted recently by Neer Exnora

TAMBARAM: In an initiative seeking to make protection of ponds, tanks and lakes a mass movement, 10 water bodies across Tamil Nadu were adopted recently by Neer Exnora.

Participating in a function at SRM Eswari Engineering College, Ramapuram, to launch the “adoption” programme, activists pledged to take the concept to the masses in urban and rural pockets.

Out of the 10 water bodies, six are in Chennai and its suburbs. They are Kothandaramar Temple Tanks in West Mambalam and Manali – Mathur Lake (266 acres), Sathangadu Lake (about 135 acres) Nanmangalam Lake (about 220 acres), Puzhuthivakkam ‘chitheri’ (about 25 acres) and Mangal Lake in Mogappair. The rest include Chinnambedu Lake Irrigation project in Tiruvallur district and Amaruviappan Perumal Temple Tank in Nagapattinam district.

The “adoption ceremony” coincided with the World Water Day, which is observed every year on March 22. Addressing the function, Tiruvallur Collector Rajendra Kumar said the district administration was attaching a lot of importance to protection of existing water bodies and rejuvenating those that required attention.

Through Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, 110 water bodies in different villages of the district were revived and water in them was now available throughout the year. There was a need to increase awareness level among people living in towns and rural areas about the significance of protecting water bodies, he said.

Collaborative exercise

S.Rangarajan of Neer Exnora said the voluntary organisation planned to work with corporates, government agencies, rural and urban local bodies in addition to the activists to implement the project.

It was proposed to spend about Rs.1 crore on each of the project and the works to be undertaken include desilting and deepening, strengthening the lake bunds, prevention of dumping of garbage, besides development works.

The inaugural function was followed by a seminar in which experts, engineers from the Public Works Department and academicians spoke at length about the hydrological set up in Tamil Nadu and the importance of protecting traditional water bodies and urban water bodies from different forms of abuse.

Resolutions were passed at the event urging the State government to constitute a Water Body Authority and a separate team to protect them. Exnora International founder M.B.Nirmal and members of Neer Exnora spoke on the occasion.

SRM University Chancellor T.R.Pachamuthu said the Ramapuram lake, next to the institution’s premises, was once spread over 27 acres, but had shrunk to less than 10 acres, owing to encroachments and dumping of garbage. There was a greater role for private-public partnership in environment protection and the government had to acknowledge this, Mr. Pachamuthu said.

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