CHENNAI: One more lake in the city may turn into a favourite hangout for recreation. After the Chetpet Lake success story, the city Corporation is developing the Villivakkam lake into an eco-tourist site at a cost of Rs 16 crore, a senior official told Express.
A basketball court, an open air theatre, kids play area, walking tracks and rest rooms are in the offing, along with an aerator to enable natural systems to thrive and to help boost the aesthetic aspects of the lake.
“Tender for the project finalised before the announcement of the RK Nagar bypolls is to be floated in two months”, said a senior Corporation official. The eco-restoration project is to be taken up in an area of 24.84 acres out of the total 36.5 acres that the Corporation has received from the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd.
“The remaining 11.5 acres will be used for a sewage treatment plant to be set up by the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSSB) in future,” a Corporation official said.
According to Jayaram Venkatesan, convener, Arappor Iyakkam that has been in a long-standing battle over restoration of the Villivakkam lake, the organisation had raised three demands at the stakeholders’ meeting held by the Corporation before starting preparations on the detailed project report (DPR).
“When we saw the design, we told the authorities that the recreational space was a good idea but we had called for wider consultation with the public. We offered to help them organise public consultation,” he said. Secondly, the issue of an inlet in the northern part of the lake was brought up. “During floods, we noticed that water flowing from Jaganathanagar inundated SIDCO Nagar,” he said. “There was once an inlet from that part, but it has now been blocked; it has to be restored,” he added.