CHENNAI : The four reservoirs supplying water to Chennai have not been fully desilted this year, and cannot store water up to their maximum capacity. However, there are small success stories that can have a big impact on the long run. Thanks to the efforts of NGOs and the city Corporation, about 50 small water bodies have been fully restored, and are now brimming with water. In this year alone, the Environmentalist Foundation of India has rejuvenated 54 ponds and lakes in the city and its suburbs. Waterbodies in Tiruvallur, Ambattur, Minjur and Sriperumbudur, are now filled to their full capacity. Those in Velachery, Perungalathur, Thalambur, Egattur, and OMR are also filling up fast.
As the EFI volunteers have installed recharge wells on these ponds and lake beds, groundwater levels are also likely to get a boost. Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of EFI says this was largely possible due to the cooperation extended by the city corporation. “Most of these waterbodies were unrecognisable due to public apathy,” he says. Encroachments, garbage and construction waste dumping had eaten into these waterbodies. The Kannan Kulam near the tollgate in Thoraipakkam, for instance, was encroached upon by a gym and a temple. The corporation razed them down, following which restoration works were carried out.
Similarly, the Puliyakeni lake was filled with tonnes of garbage. “We restored seven lakes, of which this was the hardest,” says Arun. “It required both mechanised and manual labour. The entrance to the lake was very small, so we had to use small machines as opposed to the conventional ones.”
These lakes and ponds come under the Rejuvenation and Restoration of Water Bodies project of the corporation. For this, a total of 210 waterbodies were identified for complete revival. The projects are being done with the help of NGOs who, in turn, collaborate with private firms under their CSR portfolio.
So far, 72 waterbodies have been fully restored, said a senior corporation official. The remaining ones will be completed by the end of this month. “Out of 210 water bodies, 136 were handed over to NGOs and corporate companies to revive. The remaining will be restored under Chennai Mega City Development Mission for which tenders were called for this month,” added the official.
‘Thervoy Kandigai reservoir works will be over in five months’
Chennai:Chief Secretary K Shanmugam on Thursday said work on establishing a new reservoir at Thervoy Kandigai in Thiruvallur district will be over within five months - i.e., by March, 2020. He said till now, 80 per cent of the works on the reservoir were over. The then CM J Jayalalithaa laid the foundation on September 11, 2013. As per the revised estimates, the works will be completed at a cost of `380 cr.
Light rain likely in city today
Chennai: Light to moderate rain is likely in Chennai and nearby districts, including Puducherry, on Sunday, Regional Meteorological Centre said. Light to moderate thunderstorm with lightning is likely and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 25 deg Celsius respectively in the city, the bulletin said. Moderate rain is expected in Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Cuddalore while light to moderate rain is expected at a few places in south Tamil Nadu and at isolated places in north Tamil Nadu, the bulletin said.