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Porur lake gets filthier, residents’ request to desilt stuck in red tape

WRD officials say non-cooperation and inaction from panchayat worsening the situation

Published: 14th February 2020 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2020 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

Constant garbage dumping in Porur and Iyyapanthangal areas along the Porur lake bund continues to pollute the water body | martin louis

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Porur lake, one of the secondary drinking water sources in the city, continues to be plagued by contamination from constant garbage dumping. Delay in desilting is adding to the lake’s woes. Heaps of garbage is being dumped along the lake bunds in Rajaganapathy Nagar in Iyyanpanthangal, for close to a decade now. Over the years, many residents have even vacated their houses due to the unbearable stench and mosquito menace. Residents said local panchayat trucks and even corporation lorries dump garbage collected from Moulivakkam, Kattupakkam and Porur areas, here. They said during heavy rains, the leachate from this mini dumpyard, leaks into the lake, polluting it. Near Thelliyar Agaram, construction debris and more plastic waste was found dumped along the bunds.

“We have complained many times to the authorities concerned. But so far, we have received no response. Cows eat this strewn plastic waste too. I couldn’t abandon the land I own here due to the fear of encroachment,” said V Veluswamy, a long-time resident who lives close to this spot. While one side of the 240-acre lake provides drinking water to central Chennai, the other, which comes under Iyyapanthangal, has always been polluted by constant dumping of waste. Through infiltration wells and from the lake’s surface, close to two million litres of water is supplied to the city everyday.

The Water Resource Department had planned to carry out the second phase of desilting works in the lake, but residents said no such efforts were done recently. Out of 3.8 lakh cubic metres of silt, only 0.9 cubic metres was removed a year ago. Work to remove close to 1.9 lakh cubic tonnes of silt is still pending for the past one year due to bureaucratic delay. Sources said that a request sent to Thiruvallur collector’s office to allow the mines department to clear the silt, is stuck in paperwork. A senior official from WRD said that lack of cooperation and action from Kundrathur panchayat officials was worsening the situation. “We had written to them even a week ago to clean the garbage dumped in the lake and also to stop sewage inflow from stormwater drains in Moulivakkam. Without their help, it is impossible to stop this menace,” added the official.


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