Chennai

Residents want Adambakkam lake to be desilted soon

The wait for the restoration of Adambakkam lake continues. With the waterbody remaining neglected for nearly a decade now, residents want it restored to prevent flooding in the surrounding localities.

Residents of Adambakkam and Nanganallur complained that the waterbody was covered with vegetation. Spread over nearly 14 hectares, Adambakkam lake is one among a group of waterbodies that has surplus water draining into the Pallikaranai marshland.

It is one of the three lakes, including Perumbakkam and Vengaivasal, chosen for the eco-restoration project at a cost of ₹12 crore with funds from the Environment Management Agency of Tamil Nadu.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) planned to restore the original storage capacity, strengthen the bund and improve the lake with recreational facilities at a cost of ₹3.5 crore.

Progress stalled

However, residents noted that the work carried out, including the walkers’ path, were stopped earlier this year. There is a threat of flooding in areas such as Adambakkam, Thillai Ganga Nagar and Nanganallur during the oncoming northeast monsoon.

V. Rama Rao, chairman of Sabari Green Foundation, said the lake had already shrunk and any delay in the project could lead to further encroachments. Desilting would lead to an increase in groundwater level.

Residents of Adambakkam charged that the process of removing encroachments from the lake had been dragging for over a decade now due to inaction of the Revenue Department and the WRD.

J.S. Augustine David, president, Federation of Adambakkam Welfare Associations, recalled that a similar project chalked out in 2014 was shelved for want of funds. “Our office bearers too gave suggestions for developing lake as a recreational space. Encroachments removal continues to be a problem and we had planned to file a public interest litigation for clearing encroachments and rejuvenation of the lake. There is an urgent need to desilt, deepen and fence the water body,” he said.

However, the Water Resources Department listed out various challenges, including plugging sewage outfalls, that delayed the project. There was also a delay in getting funds.

Officials said work was in progress to provide a flood regulator. “We are waiting for revenue authorities to verify the documents of the encroached structures to proceed with eviction,” an official said.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 7:53:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/residents-want-adambakkam-lake-to-be-desilted-soon/article32690028.ece

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