Downtown

Benefits of temple tanks come to the fore

Dhandeeswaran Temple tank at Velachery. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Dhandeeswaran Temple tank at Velachery. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

With tanks and ponds brimming with water, experts say neighbourhoods will be able to tide over water scarcity in the coming months



The Vembu Amman Temple tank in Perungudi is brimming with water after almost a decade. Thanks to the heavy rains, many such small temple tanks and ponds are filled.

The floods might have had a devastating effect in many areas but there is good news for residents staying close to such facilities. It promises to recharge the ground water level in the area. Experts say a well-maintained tank has the potential to improve the groundwater level for at least a few years. This is great news for areas that have been dependent on private tanker lorries.

Temple tanks are recharge ponds and localities that have many of them, have something going for them straightaway. If they were de-silted, the yield would be better, say experts.

“A temple tank will help residents living within 200 metres of the tank. Those tanks which do not have a concrete or clay bed will allow for more permeation. These localities will be free of water problems for the next one to two years,” says Prof. R. Sudharsanan, expert, water resources, Velammal Engineering College.

“It was only this year that Vembu Amman Temple tank got a facelift with hand railings and granite pavements built around its banks. However, the stromwater drains are yet to be connected to the tank,” says G.M. Balan, a long-time resident of the area.

The Marudeeshwarar temple tank was not de-silted but temple authorities and volunteers cleared the tank of algae and moss 15 days before the north east monsoon set in.

The tanks of Karneeswarar Temple and Kapleeshwarar Temple are some of the best examples of how rainwater has helped restore the ecology of the water tank.

At Parthasarathy Swami Temple in Triplicane, stromwater drains on the four mada streets around the temple are connected through pipes to the temple tank.

“The groundwater level in Triplicane was available at a depth of 60 feet. With rains recharging the table, it should be available at 30-40 feet now,” says Parthasarathy, a borewell contractor.

Residents say a number of waterbodies in areas such as Perungudi, Neelankarai, Thoraipakkam and Palavakkam have vanished due to encroachments.

“Fifteen years ago, Neelankarai, for instance, had around 14 tanks. Today, there are only two. Most of them have been encroached or misused. If we had them now, they could have been a good source of water for many houses,” says Srilakshmi Mohan Road, a resident of Neelankarai

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 9:32:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/benefits-of-temple-tanks-come-to-the-fore/article7927351.ece

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