Infrastructure

Adambakkam lake restoration fails to take off

Environmentalists allege the work, that was to begin in May, was blocked by some anti-social elements. Photo: T. Madhavan

Environmentalists allege the work, that was to begin in May, was blocked by some anti-social elements. Photo: T. Madhavan   | Photo Credit: T.Madhavan

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The rejuvenation of Adambakkam lake has once again hit a roadblock as work that was scheduled to commence in May is yet to begin.

Environmentalists allege that some vested interests have blocked the efforts of the Public Works Department (PWD. The lake that once spanned over 100 hectares (over 250 acres) has now been reduced to one-tenth of that size. Activists have been urging PWD to save the remaining portion of the precious water body.

Water hyacinths were cleared but no work has been carried out since, residents said. Adambakkam residents and activists are not just concerned about the depleting level and quality of groundwater, but also alleged governmental inaction.

“Earlier, the groundwater was found at less than 10 feet. Now, we are not certain of finding water at even 200 feet, while sinking borewells. Rejuvenating the Adambakkam lake will help recharge the water table in Adambakkam and Nanganallur,” said Mangai, a resident of Karikalan Street.

“At a recent meeting, Alandur MLA V.N.P. Venkataraman assured us that steps would be taken to de-silt the lake. The PWD too surveyed the lake and made an enumeration of encroachments, but no further action was taken,” she said.

President of Federation of Adambakkam Welfare Associations, P.K. Subramanian said they decided to stage a protest in March but postponed it on the request of candidates contesting elections. He said that for the past 10 years, they have been writing to various arms of the State government to save this water body without any success.

PWD officials however said the rejuvenation work would go as per schedule despite hurdles.

An official told The Hindu that they would go ahead with the beautification project, which includes deepening, strengthening of bunds, landscaping and fencing.

On removing unauthorised structures, the official said once they get the list from the Revenue Department, it would be easy for them to demarcate the lake space and fence it appropriately.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 7:58:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-infra/adambakkam-lake-restoration-fails-to-take-off/article6673687.ece

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