The Chennai Corporation will remove municipal solid waste from 206 water bodies, remove encroachments and permit local communities and corporates to adopt and maintain them.
“The corporates or the communities can adopt any of the 206 water bodies, develop and maintain them. They can own it for a specified period of time. The local residents will benefit from the initiative,” said an official.
The civic body will also develop a portal to facilitate the adoption of the water bodies by corporates or local communities, who will have to fund the project for eco-restoration.
Special resolution soon
The corporation will come up with a Special Officer’s Council resolution to hand over the water bodies for adoption and maintenance.
“The corporation has started clearing solid waste from Oma Kulam in Madhavaram zone using its own funds. We will develop walkways near the 3.66 acre pond,” said an official. As the civic body had already spent several crores of rupees on eco-restoration of such water bodies, officials are planning to rope in corporates and local communities for funding such capital-intensive projects.
Zonal officials said they have already removed 12,000 tonnes of garbage and 6,000 tonnes of silt from Oma Kulam. The pond was a dumping yard for the erstwhile Madhavaram municipality. After residents in neighbourhoods such as Sarangapani Nagar, Thirumurugan Nagar, Gilburn Nagar, Omakulam Medu and Shanmuga Sundaram Nagar complained of severe pollution of groundwater, the civic body started the work. Now, officials have even released fish and duck in the pond.
“The water quality has improved. We have increased the depth of the pond to 8 feet. We will deepen it by another 6 feet. About 70% of the work has been completed. However, the project is very expensive,” said an official.
Similar to the work in Oma Kulam, eco-restoration of water bodies in other zones would be taken up after a study. “We will assess the deterioration of water quality and clear the solid waste from the ponds. Some residents have complained that ponds in their neighbourhood have vanished,” said an official.
Bunds, walkers path, high mast lamp, park and children’s play area will be developed in all the water bodies. Already 93 of the 563 parks in the city have been given up for adoption and maintenance.