Project to rejuvenate three lakes into drinking water sources gains impetus

The Water Resources Department plans to take up additional work in Korattur Lake, which is overgrown with vegetation in some portions   | Photo Credit: K. Lakshmi

The project to rejuvenate three major lakes in the western suburbs and develop them into drinking water sources is gaining impetus after a brief lull. The Water Resources Department (WRD) has recently submitted fresh proposals to restore water bodies in Korattur, Ambattur and Retteri.

It may be recalled that the water bodies were taken up for eco-restoration in 2016. However, works are being executed in a phased manner due to funds crunch. Residents noted that the delay in completing the work and the gap in between the phases has led to damage of the infrastructure that has been created.

Officials of the WRD said a detailed project report for additional work in three lakes to be undertaken at a total cost of ₹31 crore is under scrutiny. The project will be started in one or two months once the government gives its nod.

Sewage pollution, garbage disposal and misuse, including bathing cattle, remain major challenges in the restoration of water bodies. “We plan to construct boundary walls around the lake just like along the Cooum to prevent unauthorised entry and encroachments. Vegetation will be cleared too,” said an official.

Though eco-restoration projects in these lakes started three years ago, similar projects in Chetpet and Paruthipattu have been completed faster. Officials said these water bodies are large in size and therefore took longer and required more funds. For instance, Paruthipattu lake’s water spread area is less than 100 acres whereas Korattur lake is spread over 700 acres and the bund runs for 10 km in circumference.

Additional mud flats will be created in the lakes with the soil removed by desilting. This would increase the storage capacity by 20% and provide more space for nesting birds.

In Korattur lake alone, about 160 encroachments need to be cleared. The Department is preparing an action plan for rehabilitation for residents on the lines of Cooum and Adyar river restoration along with the district administration. “We want to provide residents evicted from water bodies both shifting and daily allowances on par with others. This is also taking time. About 300 encroached structures also need to be removed from Retteri and Ambattur lakes,” the official said.

While 11 million litres a day of water a day is already being drawn from Retteri, plans are afoot to set up a sewage treatment plant at Korattur lake and arrest sewage outfalls from areas such as DTCP colony. Korattur will soon be the next drinking source for Chennai.

The project will be completed in six months and other works, such as a children’s play area, will be done in next phase, the official added.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 12:05:57 AM |

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