Sewage flow into two lakes in Chennai reduces following COVID-19 lockdown

The Water Resources Department has lifted samples to check pollution levels

Published - April 24, 2020 01:17 pm IST - CHENNAI

Officials say industrial effluents have reduced following the lockdown

Officials say industrial effluents have reduced following the lockdown

Sewage discharge into two major water bodies in the city’s western suburbs has reduced in the past one month. Samples have been lifted from the Korattur and Ambattur lakes to ascertain the pollution level now, according to the Water Resources Department.

The lakes, which were once primary freshwater sources and part of a chain of water bodies in the western suburbs, have now shrunk in size and become contaminated with sewage just like many other lakes in the city’s vicinity.

Even during summer days, both the lakes continue to hold water and have 70% of their storage capacity.

Officials of the WRD said it was noticed that the sewage discharge into the two lakes has reduced to one-fifth of the earlier amount over the past one month. The decrease in flow of industrial effluents could probably be due to the closure of industrial units around the lake owing to the lockdown. However, the lake was receiving domestic sewage from surrounding localities.

“We have lifted samples at two or three points of both the lakes. For instance, samples have been taken from near the weir of the Ambattur surplus course that transports water to Korattur lake,” said an official.

Results are awaited and they will help ascertain the water quality and the pollution level. The Department would be able to take measures to mitigate pollution based on the results, the official added.

It may be recalled that the Department has been executing projects to turn the lakes in Ambattur, Korattur and Retteri as eco-tourism spots.

Environmental activists and residents noted that domestic sewage continues to flow into Korattur lake. Members of the Korattur Aeri Pathukappu Makkal Iyakkam (KAPMI) who have filed a case with the National Green Tribunal, Southern Zone, to protect the lake said sewage flowed through the surplus course.

After the NGT directive, the committee formed with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board as nodal agency has drafted an action plan to restore the lake. “We have also surveyed and created awareness in various areas of Korattur. We have covered 1,200 houses that are yet to avail house service connections along with Chennai Metrowater. Once the lockdown period is over, measures must be resumed to protect the lake,” said a KAPMI member.

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