Chennai

Desilting resumes in Chembarambakkam

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WRD to remove 78,000 cubic metres of silt

The Water Resources Department has resumed desilting of the Chembarambakkam reservoir, after nearly a month. Work to desilt the other major lake in Cholavaram, which is also nearly dry, will restart next week.

One of the major drinking water sources of Chennai, the 2,316-hectare Chembarambakkam lake remains largely dry. It is in some portions covered with vegetation that acts as a hindrance for water to flow in from catchment areas. Of its total capacity of 3,645 million cubic feet (mcft), it only has a storage of 28 mcft, that it has received through the marginal flow of rainwater this northeast monsoon.

After several decades, the project to clear silt from the waterbody in Chembarambakkam started in September, to help increase storage. However, it was stalled for a fortnight due to issues pertaining to environment clearance.

WRD officials said the work resumed on Saturday. The project is aimed at clearing 151.80 lakh cubic metres of silt, in a span of eight years. The contractors have already remitted ₹1 crore towards removing silt. The project has been chalked out in a revenue-generation model, wherein contractors will pay for the silt to be removed, and later sell it.

There are plans to remove 78,000 cubic metres of silt in the next few months from the Chembarambakkam lake.

Besides cases pending in the court for desilting the waterbodies in Red Hills and Poondi, the steady inflow and increasing water levels were also cited as reasons for halting the exercise this year. Once the exercise is completed, the four lakes will have an additional storage of 2,000 mcft, noted officials.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 7:11:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/desilting-resumes-in-chembarambakkam/article29790652.ece

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