Chennai

Chetpet lake bustling once again with sports activities

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With rising water levels, visitors are now flocking to the ecopark

Only a few months ago, the dry Chetpet lake looked like all life had been sapped out of it. It was dry as a bone. Not anymore. The water level is rising, and that is a signal for the resumption of the sports activities.

With the water level rising, a fortnight ago, the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation (TNFDC), which maintains the lake, started reintroducing water sports that the Chetpet lake has come to be known in recent years.

There is now stand-up paddling to be tried out at the lake.

Launched on an trial basis, the stand-up paddling programme is marked by engagement of paddling experts. To taech participants the nuances of this water sport, TNFDC has brought in paddling and surfing experts from Kovalam, East Coast Road.

Chetpet lake bustling once again with sports activities

“Many more such water sports-based activities are being planned. Safety of participants at such sports activities is a key factor deciding how they are being organised,” G.S. Sameeran, Managing Director, TNFDC, told The Hindu.

In 1934, the Department of Fisheries took over the lake to conduct research. In another decade or so, the lake would have a hydro-biological research station for the Department to carry out studies in fisheries. In 1962, the Madras Anglers Club was started to promote fishing as a sport at the lake.

Half-a-century later, the lake was converted into a space for sports fishing-cum-ecopark.

Various recreational facilities including boating, acupressure walkway, elevation aquarium, 3D film show, virtual reality centre on marine life and 30 stone sculptures are found at the ecopark.

One of the challenges, officials say, is to ensure the lake does not become dry. As a silver lining, the recent dry summer months provided the Department with the opportunity to desilt and deepen the waterbody.

Around 4,500 cubic metres of silt was dredged and used to strengthen the bund of the lake, officials say. Stormwater drains in the neighbourhood were cleaned and connected to the lake to ensure excess rainwater was discharged into the waterbody, they add.

Facts about

Chetpet lake:

. Total Area

16.1 acres

. Angling Pond

3.10 acres

. Boating Pond

6 acres

. Walkers Path

1.5 km

. Children’s play area, Interpretation centre and amphi-theatre are among other facilities

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 2:03:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chetpet-lake-bustling-once-again-with-sports-activities/article29786689.ece

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