Downtown

Puzhal lake contaminated by sullage

Residents of Venkatachalam Nagar in Thirumullavoyal say sullage is draining into the Puzhal lake. Photos: B. Jothi Ramalingam  

Puzhal lake, which sprawls over 4,500 acres on Grand Northern Trunk Road in Puzhal, is rain-fed yet manages to supply water to the city round the year.

For a few months now, this waterbody is displaying telltale signs of contamination: sullage from households in neighbourhing Thirumullavoyal is being discharged into the dry parts of the lake through open stormwater drains.

These narrow concrete drains on the main roads in Thirumullavoyal were originally meant to discharge excess rainwater into the lake during monsoon.

“Not all households discharge their sullage into the open stormwater drains. The major damage comes from commercial establishments. Delay in commissioning of an underground drainage system by the Avadi Municipality is the reason for illegal discharge of sullage into the lake,” said Giri Ravanan, a resident of Thirumullavoyal.

At present, most of the work on the multi-crore underground drainage system has been completed in Thirumullavoyal except for a few areas near the Puzhal lake such as Thirumullavoyal Colony.

Pipelines and manholes have been laid as part of the project, which is being executed by Chennai Metrowater in coordination with the Avadi Municipality.

Municipal officials said that initially, only four wards in Mittanamalli and Muthuputhupet near Indian Air Force (IAF) in Avadi would be operated because of the two sewage treatment plants (STP), only one in Muthuputhupet was ready to function later this year.

Municipal officials said that as the second STP was large, steps had been taken to expedite the work. It would take at least one year to commence the drainage operations in the entire municipality limits, the officials added.

With no drainage system in place, a section of households and commercial establishments in areas like SVT Nagar, Venketachalam Nagar, Subramaniya Nagar and Thendral Nagar East discharge sullage into the dry portions of the lake off the Surapet Main Road, which connects Puzhal with Ambattur Old Town (OT).

Residents of Puzhal said that such illegal discharge would not only contaminate the waterbody but also lead to the spread of waterborne diseases in the neighbourhood.

“During last year’s floods, the Puzhal lake was overflowing, which resulted in the inundation of neighbouring areas. During such calamities, sullage in a lake would lead to faster spread of diseases,” said K. Parvathy, a resident of Puzhal.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 1:51:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Puzhal-lake-contaminated-by-sullage/article14621887.ece

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