CHENNAI: Desilting works at Chembarambakkam and Cholavaram reservoirs are slowly coming to a stop now that the monsoon is underway. Only negligible progress seems to have been achieved with the process. Work has been stopped at Cholavaram, where only 78,000 cubic metre soil has been removed since June against a total amount of 38 lakh cubic metre.
Works have not even been started at Poondi and Red Hills, though orders were issued nearly a year ago. While an ongoing court case has stalled works at Poondi, the release of Krishna water and rains have hampered works at Red Hills. Krishna water was released a month ago. It’s not clear why no works were done before that. At Chembarambakkam, after a month’s gap, works just began.
This is the first time all the four reservoirs are being desilted since their construction about a century ago. Cholavaram has silt accumulation of about 50 per cent, while Chembarambakkam, Poondi and Red Hills have silt deposits of 3, 22, and 18 per cent.
The desilting, it is hoped, will help the government earn additional revenue. Chembarambakkam alone is expected to generate Rs 191 crore. “Per five cubic metres of sand, the government will earn Rs 100 and the respective panchayat union Rs 26,” said an official.