Chennai

Officials in talks with residents to open water inlets of Korattur lake

Community participation: The restoration of Korattur lake, spread over 600 acres, was taken up five years ago.   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

The Water Resources Department is holding talks with citizen groups and residents’ associations seeking their cooperation in allowing rainwater to flow into the Korattur lake this monsoon. The move assumes significance as the residents had moved the National Green Tribunal seeking to prevent sewage flow into the lake. Consequently, the department plugged all the inlets carrying water to the lake.

In a bid to prevent water-logging in areas around Korattur lake, the department has completed 90% of the work to desilt inlet channels. However, residents raised concern about channels carrying sewage from areas such as DTP Colony.

One of the major waterbodies in the western part of the city, the lake is spread over 600 acres. The restoration project was taken up nearly five years ago and the work is still on.

Officials said various channels bringing rainwater to the lake, including Pattaravakkam canal and those along DTP Colony and North Avenue, are being cleared of silt and vegetation to ensure free flow of water.

The department is awaiting a government order to implement permanent measures, including regulators, to divert excess flow or entry of sewage. “We are making temporary arrangements such as placing sandbags near the bund and inlets to allow rainwater to flow into the lake at a certain height. But a decision would be taken after the talks with residents and citizen groups,” said an official.

Korattur Aeri Padhukappu Makkal Iyakkam (KAPMI), a citizen’s group involved in protecting the lake’s environment, had moved the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal to safeguard the waterbody.

KAPMI recently represented to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board seeking permanent steps to arrest of sewage flow and construction of a treatment plant.

KAPMI secretary S. Sekaran said the inlet channel along the DTP Colony continues to carry domestic sewage. The department must ensure that only rainwater flowed into the lake if the inlets were to be opened this monsoon. “We have sought that the height of the weir [a structure that allows surplus water to flow out] to be increased to store more water,” he said.

Officials said the water quality in the lake saw an improvement last monsoon when inlets were opened. Various government agencies, including the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board, were implementing short-term and long-term action plans in a phased manner, they added.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 5:42:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/officials-in-talks-with-residents-to-open-water-inlets-of-korattur-lake/article32884079.ece

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