CHENNAI: Even at the peak of a water crisis in Chennai, authorities are yet to take lessons on the upkeep of the city’s water bodies. Sewage from areas around Porur lake is being allowed to flow directly into Thanthikal canal intended to carry surplus water from Chembarambakkam reservoir to the lake. The water from the canal flows into Porur lake which is a permanent drinking water source for residents at Valsaravakkam, KK Nagar and Alandur areas.
Express found that sewage from residential areas including Dhanalakshmi Nagar, Sai Nagar and Annai Abirami Nagar at Iyyappanthangal were let into the canal. These areas do not have underground sewage.
“We have been demanding underground sewerage in our area, but it does not look like there is even a proposal to construct it here,” said Thomas M, president of Dhanalakshmi Nagar residents welfare association. Dhanalakshmi Nagar alone has over 300 families.
Residents said a few years ago, a part of Thanthikal canal was made into a concrete structure to prevent sewage from being released into it. However, it has not stopped sewage inflow. “Now, the sewage stops on one side of the lake. If it rains heavily, it will be washed away to the other parts,” said Pachaimmal S, a long-time resident of Dhanalakshmi Nagar.
Porur lake has a bund running down one part to stop sewage from the canal reaching the other parts. However, the bund has been broken by miscreants, said residents. “Sewage from anywhere in the city ultimately flows into some waterbody or the other. But, since water from this lake is used to meet drinking water needs of the city, authorities must be more careful,” said Manickanayagam M, resident of Porur.
When contacted, a Water Resources Department official said last year, they had informed the collector of the illegal discharge of sewage in these areas. Consequently, a proposal has been made to divert sewage inflow to Kalangal canal instead of letting it enter the lake.
“We are aware of the problem here, but as soon as this proposal is sanctioned, sewage will be diverted before it enters the lake,” the official said.