Drive launched against encroachments in Chitlapakkam lake amid protests

Recovering lost ground: Encroachments being cleared at Chitlapakkam lake on Friday.

Recovering lost ground: Encroachments being cleared at Chitlapakkam lake on Friday.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) started the drive to clear encroachments from Chitlapakkam lake amid protests on Friday.

The exercise to demarcate Chitlapakkam lake’s boundary was started near Periyar Street. However, residents protested against demolition for a few hours.

Officials said portions of houses built near the waterbody were identified as encroaching into the lake area in Periyar Street. Steps were taken to clear the 14 encroachments and demarcate the water body’s boundary.

Nearly 403 encroachments have been identified in the lake. The department has completed about 70% of the ₹25-crore project to rejuvenate the waterbody, including deepening and provision of flood regulators. Spread over 219 acres, it has a storage capacity of 7.02 million cubic feet.

Other work such as provision of footpath, fencing, greenery and children’s park would be taken up as part of the eco-restoration project. “We were able to store freshwater in the lake following the monsoon as most of the work, including construction of cut and cover channels, have been completed,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the Chitlapakkam Residents’ Associations Coordination Committee wants the Selaiyur lake to be restored and a new channel constructed to carry surplus water to Thiruvanchery lake.

Committee convenor P. Viswanathan said sluices must be operated to divert excess water to Thiruvanchery lake. As the entire surplus water flowed to Chitlpakkam, it caused floods in the area, he said.

Besides a detailed project for rejuvenation of the lake, the authorities concerned must also take steps to stop discharge of raw sewage into the cut and cover drain linked to the Sembakkam lake. The underground sewerage scheme in Chitlapakkam, which was dropped a decade ago, must be resumed, Mr. Viswanathan added.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 12:11:40 am |