Even as work is apace on implementing a major scheme to clean the Ooty Lake and put in place a mechanism to prevent it from getting polluted particularly through the main Kodappamund channel which runs from one end of the town to the other, concern is growing over the unchecked practice of dumping refuse on the banks of the lake.
Pointing out that the lake created by John Sullivan, popularly referred to as the founder of this hill station, in 1823-25 is now a pale shadow of what it was until a few decades ago, green activists told The Hindu that the main contributory factor was pollution.
While the Kodappamund channel which was brought into being by the Public Works Department in the early 1980s following the unprecedented deluge of 1978, to facilitate free flow of storm water, is now a conveyer of the town’s sewage and the main source of pollution of the lake, dumping of waste materials along the banks of the lake has of late emerged as a serious threat.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) which maintains the lake said that the dumping of garbage is seriously affecting the environment, “but we are not in a position to do anything about it”.
They added that only the civic administration can take action. Underscoring the need to tackle the problem before it gets out of hand, the green activists said that warning signs should be displayed prominently and those violating the rules prosecuted.
They opined that even if several crores of rupees are spent by the government to revive the highly polluted lake, it cannot be done without the cooperation of the local people.
Civic officials said that the entire area would be inspected and appropriate action initiated.