After getting PWD nod, residents in need of volunteers to clean Chennai's Tiruneermalai lake
Pughalvendhan V, a local activist and resident of Kundrathur who spearheaded this initiative, said that funds are needed to buy items like tools, gloves and garbage bags to collect and dispose waste.
CHENNAI: After a delay of one month, residents who wanted to clean up the Tiruneermalai lake, have finally received permission from the concerned authorities. But due to the lack of sufficient manpower and funds, locals are not able to kick start the restoration work.
As the Public Works Department has set a time period of only two months to finish the clean up, residents said they need more volunteers to complete work within the deadline. On Saturday (Aug 24), Kancheepuram collector had granted permission for residents to remove invasive weeds like Seemai Karivelam that has grown extensively across the waterbody.
The lake which is located in Chennai's suburbs is spread across 167 acres. Two months ago, scores of dead fish were removed as the lake had completely dried up. Following this residents had written to the authorities to desilt and mark boundaries of the lake.
Pughalvendhan V, local activist and resident of Kundrathur who spearheaded this initiative, said other than manpower, funds are needed to buy items like tools, gloves and garbage bags to collect and dispose waste from the lake. "Through word of mouth and social media I was able to gather around 50 people last week and we collected 20 bags of waste from the lake. Now that we have got necessary permission we want to remove invasive weeds and shrubs. For this we require many tools and more people," added Pughal.
Since June 31, locals have been removing plastic waste and garbage strewn on the bunds of the lake. In July, during one such clean up session, locals noticed a steady stream of sewage entering the lake and also piles of expired medicines dumped near the bushes. After Pughal registered a complaint with the PWD and health department, officials carried out a thorough inspection of the lake.
An official from Water Resource Department said that permission to clean the lake was given a month ago. "We have instructed residents to take down only invasive plants and not any trees or other useful plants. Also, officials from the collector's office have asked the Tiruneermalai Panchayat to safely disposed waste collected by residents from the lake," added the official.
Those interested to take part in the restoration work can contact 9551090799.