Downtown

Perungudi residents have big plans for their lake

Members of Perungudi Lake Area Neighbourhood will organise a festival to celebrate the water body. — Photos: Shaju John   | Photo Credit: Shaju John

Ramapuram lake in Porur and Thangal lake in Vijayalakshmipuram, Ambattur, are classic examples of what citizens participation can do for lakes.

The Perungudi Lake Area Neighbourhood (PLAN), an umbrella organisation that covers over 15 residents’ associations, will be going one step ahead. The members will not just work towards reviving the lake, but also conduct a lake festival.

With a photojournalist from Kuranji Nagar, architects from Green Acres, a landscape consultant from Kamaraj Nagar, a web designer and dozens of determined residents, PLAN members are putting up a tireless effort to beautify the lake.

Sprucing up the lake is the first activity they have taken up. The cleanup took place on December 26. Since then, more residents have joined the movement.

“On the WhatsApp group of our Kamaraj Nagar Association, I had posted that it is a pity that there was only one representative from the area. I think the message helped more people consider joining the movement,” says P. Sajeevan, one of the core members of PLAN.

Other core members include Selvakumar Royan, Madhavan Unni, Rajarathnam, Ramesh and Sunil V.

On January 2, when residents got together for the second time to clear the garbage found on the lake bed, there were 45 residents and 15 employees from Tata Consultancy Services.

Over 300 took part in the third phase of the cleaning held on January 9, say organisers.

Environmental Foundation of India (EFI) has offered to lend a professional touch to the clean-up by sending its volunteers for 10 weeks.

The group’s plan is to sustain the programme and restore the serenity of the areas around the lake so that residents can start using the pathway around the lake as a walking track.

“Open defecation is a major problem. We need to address this,” says Suresh Kuppuswamy, secretary of Green Acres and former dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University. Some suggest building toilets near the lake.

Residents are supporting the initiative in various ways. Rajan Paul from Kamaraj Nagar is helping choose the right saplings to be planted around the lake.

Two sisters from Ramappa Nagar have offered to help the residents segregate the waste collected from the lake.

“We want it to be a model lake, one that is seen as a benchmark in lake management,” says Rajarathnam, working with TCS.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:30:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Perungudi-residents-have-big-plans-for-their-lake/article13990309.ece

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