Perungalathur lake to get a facelift

Chennai:Tambaram:01/08/2017;Restoration work of Perungalathur Perya Eri is going on.Photo;G.Krishnaswamy

Chennai:Tambaram:01/08/2017;Restoration work of Perungalathur Perya Eri is going on.Photo;G.Krishnaswamy

In a few months, the neglected Perungalathur ‘periyaeri’ will wear a new look. The Water Resources Department has joined hands with voluntary organisations and residents towards reviving the waterbody that lends its name to the locality.

Like many other waterbodies on the city fringes, the Perungalathur periyaeri too has shrunk in size and is now spread over nearly 55 acres. The lake was covered with vegetation, and sewage disposal and dumping of garbage were posing a severe threat to the freshwater lake.

The lake is now being spruced up as a joint initiative of various government agencies, residents’ welfare associations and Care Earth Trust, a voluntary organisation that works towards the conservation of biodiversity. Surplus water from lakes in Tambaram and Mudichur drains into the Perungalathur periyaeri.

Welcoming the lake rejuvenation efforts, G. Raman, a resident of Perungalathur, said the WRD must act sternly against encroachers and those releasing sewage. Similar efforts should be made to restore the Sitheri.

Residents also noted that a notice board put up by the town panchayat warning residents against misusing the lake had vanished. J. Sai Prakash of M.K. Stalin Street said some people continued to wash clothes and vehicles along the lake. The rejuvenation of the lake would help improve the groundwater table in several areas including, Muthuvelar Street, Karumari Amman Koil Street, Anna Street and Bharathi Street.

Jayshree Vencatesan, managing trustee of Care Earth Trust, said, “The lake was choked with debris and overgrown vegetation. Though it is a large waterbody, there was little focus on it. Its water holding area had reduced to 65% of its capacity. It was heavily silted and much of its bund was absent. About 3,000 structures had encroached upon the lake.”

Removal of weeds

The voluntary organisation has initiated the process of cleaning weeds and ‘v elikaathan’ , a plant that is known to sap groundwater, and strengthening of the bund.

During the preliminary study, the team of Care Earth Trust found that the lake was home to eight species of fishes, including tilapia and catla, and 16 species of birds.

The water sample tested was found to be fit for potable use. Besides desilting and improving storage capacity, recharge wells would be built within the lakebed to minimise groundwater depletion. The localities would be less prone to floods once the project is completed in six months.

In a bid to sustain the conservation effort, it has also been decided to form an ‘eri preservation committee’ with residents as members.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 4:39:59 pm |