The Ambattur lake located on Thiruverkadu road, Ayappakkam, which once served as an important water resource for the surrounding areas, has now literally turned into an “open drainage.”
“The lake was once a main source of drinking water. It was considered an alternative to Puzhal reservoir. It also served as an excellent source for recharging ground water in the neighbourhood,” said Krishnan, a resident of Ayappakkam.
“The lake is spread over 250 acres. Sadly, parts of the lake are now encroached upon. The remaining part of the lake is covered by water hyacinths. To make matters worse, sewerage is discharged from the nearby housing board tenements. This has led to the degeneration of the lake” he alleged.
Ravi, a local councillor explained that there are more than 7,000 houses in the housing board complex. The sewerage from all these houses goes to the Ayappakkam pumping station. From there it is pumped to Koladi lake, near Thiruverkadu. However, a section of residents opposed letting sewerage into Koladi lake, as it would affect the ground water quality in the area.
“Hence, these residents blocked the pipeline that lets sewage into Koladi lake. Since the line is blocked, the waste water has no outlet. It reaches the Ambattur lake through the stormwater drain network.”
Stating that complaints have been made to the government, including the Public Works Department (PWD), he said that only the officials from the PWD visited the lake. “Water sample has been taken for testing. However, nothing happened after that,” he added.
PWD sources told City Express that the government was aware of such a problem. “The department has plans to clean up the highly polluted lakes of Chennai in two phases.
In the first phase, Nemam, Ayanambakkam and Porur lakes were cleaned. In the second phase, Kolathur, Madhavaram and Ambattur lakes will be cleaned. But before that, encroachments in the lake areas must be removed. It needs co-operation from the local bodies. We are in the process of completing the task by involving all the stake holders,” an official said.