Downtown

Temple tanks promise long-term benefits for neighbourhood 

Chitrakulam, Mylapore. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Chitrakulam, Mylapore. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Found in and around Mylapore, these tanks ensured that many streets in the region were free of stagnation. They have brought other blessings too

Chennai: After 10 years, this temple tank in Mylapore has been filled to the brim, naturally. During the float festival, the tank is filled with water from tanker lorry. Now, many residents feel that the tank will work as an aquifer and recharge the ground water. “The quality of ground water in our area was not too good. But after the rains, we are already seeing a big change. The water from the bore is purer and tastes good too. The temple tank has to be the reason behind this,” says Balaji, a long-time resident of Chitrakulam West Street. Also, the streets around the tank were free of stagnation as they are connected to the tank via stormwater drains.

But residents say had the tank been maintained properly, the tank would have been a sight to behold.

“At present, we can see garbage and dry leaves floating in the water. Though we are happy that the tank is full, had it been cleaned, it would have added to the beauty of the area,” says Kumar, secretary of Chitrakulam Residents Welfare Association. Next month, the authorities will take up temporary cleaning before the float fest in January and then forget about the tank. It is an important water harvesting system and it should be maintained well, he added.

Virupakeeshwarar Temple, Mylapore

Over 200 years old, this temple, located on a narrow street lane in Mylapore, has a small tank attached to it. Though not many in the neighbourhood know about it, the tank has been working as a water harvesting system.

“There is a 15-feet deep well at the centre of the tank. It always has some water. But the tank itself is getting filled after years,” says a temple staff.

The neighbourhood this summer has witnessed a water crisis and many are dependent on water lorries.

“The water collected in the tank will recharge the ground water and at least this year, we won’t have to worry about any water problems,” says Murugesan, a shop-keeper.

But this tank needs some maintenance too.

Adhi Kesava Perumal Kovil, Chintadripet

A few months ago, this street in Chintadripet was reeling under acute water crisis. Many homes were not receiving Metrowater supply. Bores were almost running dry. Digging deeper was out of question as the water quality itself was bad. The only temple tank belonging to the Ashi Kesava Perumal Temple in the area was lying dry for nearly a decade. The recent rain has filled it to the brim and this will definitely improve the situation in Chitradripet, feel residents.

But like most temple tanks in the city, this one lacks maintenance too. “The tank is never de-silted. Also, none of the stormwater drains in the neighbourhood are connected to the tank, hence a lot of water is wasted. The water runs into  Cooum. The tank, if used as a rainwater harvesting structure, can help meet water demands, with some help from the monsoon,” says Velu, a resident

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2020 6:18:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/temple-tanks-promise-longterm-benefits-for-neighbourhoods-in-and-around-mylapore/article7927364.ece

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