Eco park should not shrink capacity of Villivakkam lake, NGT tells Chennai Corporation

The National Green Tribunal has asked the Greater Chennai Corporation to create a new lake spanning 22 acres or deepen two existing lakes in the Kosasthalaiyar River Basin lieu of the establishment of eco amusement park in the Villivakkam-Konnur lake area

Published - July 15, 2022 06:26 pm IST - CHENNAI

A bird’s eye view of the sprawling Villivakkam-Konnur lake.

A bird’s eye view of the sprawling Villivakkam-Konnur lake. | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to either create a new waterbody with a water spread of 22 acres or deepen two existing waterbodies to create an additional storage capacity of 1.5 lakh cubic metres within the Kosasthalaiyar River Basin.

The work will have to be completed within one-and-a-half years in consultation with the Water Resources department, the Bench said. The directions came on a case relating to the Villivakkam-Konnur lake filed by Arappor Iyakkam.

The Bench directed the GCC to ensure that the present water storing capacity of the Villivakkam-Konnur lake was not reduced due to the establishment of an eco amusement park in the area. Any further construction should be outside the bund of the lake, the Bench said. Steps must be taken to prevent dumping of waste into the lake by visitors to the eco amusement park, the Bench said.

At present, the Villivakkam-Konnur lake spans 39 acres of which 11.5 acres was with the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). Directing the CMWSSB to carve out three acres of land for establishing a Tertiary Treatment Ultra Filtration plant and hand over the remaining 8.5 acres to the GCC, the Bench said the board must ensure that the treated water achieved the prescribed standards for drinking water or at least bathing water before being discharged into the waterbody.

The Bench said the GCC had given an undertaking that once the CMWSSB hands over 8.5 acres of land, it will be a similar waterbody [to that of the Villivakkam Lake] there and both the lakes will be connected through balancing culverts or a small bridge.

The Corporation, the Chennai Collector and the Tamil Nadu Housing Board were asked to expedite steps to rehabilitate the encroachers of the lake and remove encroachments from 2.5 acres of land and add that portion as well to the lake area and deepen it.

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