CHENNAI: Majestic stone and wood sculptures showcasing Tamil Nadu’s heritage, colourful floating fountains and a pollination garden will adorn the Chetpet Lake-cum-eco park, said State Government officials. This is in addition to facilities for patrons like boating, game-fishing and lake facing restaurants that are set to make the site an ideal spot for weekend family outings as well as a top city landmark. The `42-crore project, which will convert the 16-acre Chetpet Lake area into a tourist spot bang in the centre of the city, is all set to be completed by December 31 this year. Almost 50 percent of the project is completed, according to officials of Fisheries department. The site was inspected by the State Fisheries Minister KA Jayapal on Thursday.
While the pollination garden will come up at the Eastern side of the park, the pedestrian pathways will have the stone and wood sculptures, officials said. A number of trees will be planted at different spots in the lake, while the central island having a giant tree will also be preserved, officials added.
While 11 acres of the site will be water, the remaining five will be a land mass, officials said.
There are three separate demarcated areas for the project. Firs, is the entrance area near Ega Theatre, which will house the nine- level car parking with a capacity to house 66 cars and 100 two wheelers. Given its proximity to the upcoming Kilpauk Metro Station, the multi-storey building is envisaged to be a parking spot for Chennai Metro rail users as well. A few feet inside, there will be a gate where patrons entering the Chetpet eco park will have to pay an entry-fee. There will be a similar entrance gate at the southern end near the Chetpet Railway Station.
After walking a short distance, patrons will be able to see a big portion of the lake on their right and a smaller one on their left. The former will have facilities for boating, while the latter will have the angling (fishing) arena. There will be additional charges for boating as well as angling. Both ponds will be connected through a bridge. In the boating arena, only pedaling and rowing boats will be maintained. Currently a total of six boats have been planned. Government officials noted that this would be the only such boating facility available inside the Chennai city limits. As for angling, it is probably the only such facility in the entire state which is provided by the government.
While 35-40 people will be able to participate in the fishing site in the pond, the entire eco-park would have a number of other facilities like restaurants, amphitheatre, guest house, jogging tracks, etc. The fishing activities have also been planned carefully. While angling involves catching fish with a rod having a hook at the end, the one at Chetpet Lake will only involve catching it and letting it go back into the pond. A specific type of sturdy fish from the Indian Carp family will be bred inside this pond. “These fish will give a very good fight and will remain alive after they are ‘caught’ by the hook and hence can be released back into the pond,” says a source in the know of things.
Another interesting aspect of these ponds will be the presence of 10 German-make aerators, which will maintain the oxygen level inside the pond based on automatic oxygen sensors, officials said. German technology will also run a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) processing 50 kilo litres per day. The facility will come up at the South-Western end of the Chetpet lake and the treated effluent will be sent into the ponds.