Chennai volunteers, along with Water Resources Department, to create green belt around Red Hills lake

The initiative aims at planting at least 1,000 saplings around the lake

June 16, 2020 11:23 am | Updated 11:23 am IST - CHENNAI

Volunteers engaged in planting saplings around Red Hills reservoir

Volunteers engaged in planting saplings around Red Hills reservoir

A group of youngsters gather every week near Red Hills reservoir, to plant and maintain saplings near its foreshore area. In a few months, they plan to develop a green belt around the lake along with the Water Resources Department (WRD).

Volunteers of the Red Hills Lake Restoration Group and Social Work Team Trust began a drive to clean the canals bringing water to the reservoir and planted saplings earlier this year. They planted about 100 saplings in an area of one acre, near Alamaram bus stop, along the reservoir.

The drive started as a joint initiative of the volunteering group and WRD to discourage garbage dumping near the reservoir, which is one of the primary drinking water sources of the city.

About 10 volunteers from various parts of the city visit the lake every week now to water the saplings, including mahogany and neem, and also to remove garbage. “Only a few of us take part in the work and follow physical distancing norms. We want to increase the number of the saplings planted around the lake area by the year-end,” said S. Sameer of the Red Hills Lake Restoration Group.

The Group also plans to plant a minimum of 1,000 saplings to develop a green belt around the lake with the support of WRD. At present, the lake is brimming with water and has a storage of 2,667 million cubic feet of water against its capacity of 3,300 mcft.

“We are gathering more volunteers from educational institutions for the initiative. We are sourcing about 1 lakh palm seeds to increase green cover along various water bodies, including Red Hills reservoir,” said Mr. Sameer.

Officials of the WRD noted that such efforts would create a green belt around the lake and also prevent encroachments and dumping of garbage.

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