Open defecation, dumping of waste have caused hygiene problems
ARIYALUR: Once the main source of drinking water for residents of Ariyalur town, the Chettiyeri lake is in a state of utter neglect.
Open defecation and dumping of waste have caused hygiene problems. Left abandoned for many years without desilting, the sprawling lake located adjacent to the bus stand now presents a bone dry sight. The distributaries of the lake are fast vanishing due to unplanned development, locals lament.
It is a cause for utmost concern for the public since they still have to depend on water sourced from the couple of collector wells in the lake at times when there is disruption to the drinking water supplied from the Coleroon.
According to Arumugam, a driver, less than 10 years ago, the lake used to contain fresh water all through the year, and the public used to consume the water without any inhibition. With the lake showing signs of pollution, people now have hesitation in consuming the water sourced from the wells at times of need.
A few years back, the district administration drew up a plan to desilt it and carry out landscaping to make it an entertainment spot. However, the plan is yet to take off.
According to local shopkeepers, it is not yet late to salvage the lake through the erection of a fence around, which will at least keep cattle at bay and deter open defecation, they reason out, suggesting that the maintenance of the lake be handed over to the cement companies that have a strong presence in the district.
Their premise is that the cement companies will be more than willing to take up the maintenance as a facet of corporate social responsibility.