EFI’s restoration spree in Chennai continues, work on to clean ponds on OMR

Foundation volunteers were happy to see that both ponds had negligible encroachments and no sewage inlets polluting it.

Published: 20th January 2019 03:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2019 03:44 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After restoring six ponds and a lake across the city two months ago, Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) is currently working to save two polluted water bodies at Thazhambur and Egatoor on Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR).

Foundation volunteers were happy to see that both ponds had negligible encroachments and no sewage inlets polluting it. As both ponds had dried up, it was easy for the team to dig recharge pits in the middle of each pond to recharge the groundwater table. Restoration works started two weeks ago at Thazhambur and has reached 80% completion, while Egatoor clean-up will be wrapped up in three weeks. 

Around 70 residents from surrounding apartments at Thazhambur and close to 60 from Egatoor helped the volunteers in painting the walls around the ponds. A volunteer said saplings of native trees like Neem and Palm will be planted along the bunds of these ponds.

“A majority of the clean-up was focused on clearing solid waste accumulated in ponds. As both water bodies are located at very remote locations, there were few encroachments built on the water body,” said Vignesh Mahesh, communications head of the organisation. 

But the six ponds and the lake cleaned within the city were in stark contrast. Four foot tall weeds, illegal discharge of raw sewage, dumping of plastic waste plagued these water bodies for years. The other ponds that were given a new lease of life are Ramachandra Nagar Pond, Minjur Pond, Theeyambakkam Pond, Kullapan Nagar Pond, Vinayagapuram Pond and Thamaraikeni lake. 

“The once pristine pond at Minjur was turned into a cesspool over the last decade. We drained all sewage from the water body and plugged the incoming sewer lines,” said S Chiranjeevi, chief coordinator.

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