P. Oppili

It first needs to be desilted and protected by a bund, locals say

  • Desilting water body could improve water table
  • Deepening it could make it a storage point for fresh water

    CHEIYUR (KANCHEEPURAM DISTRICT): A huge tank with a spread of about 2,000 acres in Cheiyur in Kancheepuram district, which today is brimming with water, can perhaps meet a part of the industrial water needs in south Chennai.

    But, the water body needs to be desilted and protected by a two metre bund, locals say.

    Located along the East Coast Road near Marakkanam, the water body (known as Kazhuvely among locals) now holds a mixture of both rainwater and saltwater due to the ingress of seawater.

    Converting the saline water body into a tank filled with natural water will help several villages in Cheiyur taluk, say the locals.

    Regular visitors to the area from Chennai add that the water could be drawn and conveyed along the East Coast Road or the Old Mahabalipuram Road to meet the needs of units on the IT Corridor.

    A resident of Cheiyur says fresh water usually accumulates in the water body between September and December during the monsoon.

    Several species of fish were found. Visitors can see villagers angling for fish in the water.

    Converting Kazhuveli into a fresh water storage point will have multi-dimensional benefits, they say.

    First it will improve the water table in more than half a dozen villages in Cheiyur taluk.

    Secondly the fish population will improve, and this could provide an alternative source of income for locals; and thirdly during heavy rain the water body could act as a natural drain for the some of the villages.

    Experts said that apart from improving the water table in the villages, deepening the water body by two or three feet and raising a bund could make it a storage point for fresh water. Villagers also feel that the potable water can serve the agricultural needs of the villages in Cheiyur.