Chennai

Lakes in southern suburbs remain a picture of neglect

A major portion of the Veeraghavan lake is covered with water hyacinth.

A major portion of the Veeraghavan lake is covered with water hyacinth.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

Veeraraghavan, Nemillichery lakes are in need of attention

At a time when the city and its suburbs are reeling under severe water crisis, two big lakes located on the fringes of the Pallavaram municiaplity are in poor state. The two waterbodies, including the Veeraraghavan lake and the Nemillichery lake, are in dire need of attention from the authorities. A major portion of theVeeraraghavan lake, located in Thiruneermalai village, is covered with water hyacinth, and raw sewage is being let into the lake by residents of the locality in the Pallavaram municipality.

V. Santhanam, president of the Federation of Civic and Welfare Associations, through a representation filed under the RTI Act to the Thiruneermalai Special Panchayat, has found that the Veeraraghavan lake at present does not “belong” to anyone. He said though the lake was located in Thiruneermalai village, the authorities of the Thiruneermalai Special Panchayat “claimed” the waterbody was yet to be handed over by the St. Thomas Mount Special Union.

The RTI reply pointed out that despite government order no.139 on May 31, 1996, promulgated by the State government to handover the lake to the Thiruneermalai authority, it was yet to be handed over.

Mr. Santhanam said the last time the lake was cleaned was in 2016 to remove the water hyacinth. Panchayat authorities, knowing well about the letting of sewage, had not taken any steps to prevent it, except for sending a letter to the Commissioner of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) and the Pallavaram Municipality, asking them to stop the letting in of the sewage water, he added.

The Nemilichery Lake, also located within the Pallavaram Municipality area, presents a sorry state of affairs. The water in the lake , which could have quenched the thirst of the residents this summer, has become unusable because of the letting of untreated sewage by the Pallavaram Municipality.

S. Meenakshi Sundaram, a resident of Manickam Nagar, Nemilichery, said the lake belonging to the Water Resources Department was desilted only a year ago. The WRD shaved off the fertile layer in the lake in 2018. The “deepening” of the lake had helped in storing rainwater. But the rainwater collected in the lake is not usable because of the letting of sewage by the Pallavaram Municipality.

A senior official of the Pallavaram Municipality, when asked about the complaints of sewage being let into the Nemilichery lake, said as the lake belonged to the WRD, only those authorities could take steps to protect the lake.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 1:52:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/lakes-in-southern-suburbs-remain-a-picture-of-neglect/article27585067.ece

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